Indians in Augusta are gearing up Saturday to celebrate India's 61st year of Independence.
Each year since 1993, Augustans of Indian origin have been sharing Indian heritage and cultural legacy during India Day.
"Our events are targeted at multicultural audiences. We would like to share our cultural inheritance amongst the society we have embraced in Augusta," said Ravi Murugappan, president of the local chapter of the Indo-American Cultural Association.
IACA is a forum for intellectual and cultural exchange and for the promotion of friendship between the people of India and America. It provides opportunities for interactions that help Indians and Americans assimilate each other's strengths and build on them.
Augusta is home for more than 600 families of all faiths -- Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists -- from all parts of India.
Three decades ago, India Day featured a handful of participants performing Indian classical music and dances. It has grown to an annual event showcasing India and its ethnic diversity.
This year, the committee has put together a group of artists as part of the celebration at Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theater at Augusta State University.
The event includes an art and handicrafts exhibition and a cultural program featuring more than 60 artists from various regions of Georgia, along with Indian cuisine. Free health checks also will be offered.
"The contribution from Indian community to enhance economic and cultural life in Augusta has been significant," said Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver. "Georgia is extremely fortunate to have highly talented and intellectually brilliant people from India who have shared their rich culture and traditions with us."
Copenhaver and Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle are scheduled to attend.
Proceeds from this year's event will benefit the United Way. Tickets cost $2 and can be purchased at the venue.
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