Nov. 24: Diwali

Cheryl Evans/The Arizona Republic

Sarah Anand, 12, is a dancer with Arathi School of India.

Kathy Cano

The Arizona Republic

Nov. 21, 2002 12:00 AM

From beautiful body art to exotic foods, the culture of India radiates mystery, grace and color. So much that even Hollywood has taken notice.

Filmmakers are ecstatic for all things Indian. Ghost World and Moulin Rouge! sport snippets of Bollywood (Indian cinema) dance numbers, while indie flicks such as Monsoon Wedding offer a more detailed peek.

But on Sunday, locals won't need a movie screen to indulge in the treasures that India has to offer. All they'll need is to make their way to downtown Phoenix for Diwali: The Festival of Lights.

Sponsored by the India Association of Phoenix, the daylong event celebrates the textured culture, as the calming grounds of Heritage & Science Park are transformed into an Indian marketplace. The goods will include Northern and Southern Indian food as well as arts and crafts, custom henna body designs, clothing, books and jewelry.

Those who would rather soak up the culture than shop will appreciate the demonstrations, lectures, workshops and musical performances that are part of the agenda. The event culminates with a fireworks display at 6 p.m.

Diwali: The Festival of Lights begins at 10:30 a.m, Sunday Nov. 24, Heritage &Science Park, Sixth and Monroe streets, Phoenix. Free. Details: or (602) 262-5029.

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