Warming the community spirit with curry

Dancers from Bollywood Dimension Canberra… entertaining the World Curry Festival in Civic next month.

WINTER’S annual  World Curry Festival has been revamped this year to feature entertainers including a Sydney DJ, Bollywood dance groups and a little “fusion” for its main course of spicy curries.

Festival founder and chair of the Canberra India Council Deepak-Raj Gupta says the World Curry Festival was created in 2015 and this year’s festival is to be a “fusion” of many cultures in all kinds of ways, from music through to the food.

It’s a chance to escape winter, eat curry and dance to the beat of Bollywood tunes, which Deepak-Raj says is the definition of a good time.

Each stall will serve something different so Deepak-Raj suggests having a small sample of each one in order to try them all.

“It’s not the kind of curries people are used to, it’s honest street food,” he says.

And it’s not only Indian-style curries, there will be 30 stalls bringing curries from places such as Laos, Europe and Africa, plus curry-flavoured beer.

“The festival will also include traditional Indian dancing, Bollywood dancing from Bollywood Dimension Canberra and Shaimak Davar Australia, DJ Monty from Sydney and Canberra’s hottest chilli-eating competition,” he says.

Another source of entertainment will be “Chef” Minister Andrew Barr’s “celebrity cooking demo” at the festival.

Aside from entertainment and food, it’s about bringing the Canberra community together, says Deepak-Raj.

“In a multicultural society it is good to bring diversity through different cuisines,” he says.

“The way the world is going at the moment, this is the best way to swap the hate with love.

“Food brings together the world in a different style.”

And, given its history, it seems fitting that curry is used to bring the community together.

Deepak-Raj says that tikko masala was created in Britain and vindaloo is a Portuguese curry.

Over time he also wants to see more fusions from different countries, making it an iconic Canberra event.

“I can’t wait to see a curry bangers and mash one day!” he says.

The World Curry Festival, in partnership with Canberra India Council, In the City Canberra and ACT Office of Multicultural Affairs, City Walk, 11am-8pm, July 7-9.

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