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Indian mahautsav in Toronto

art and culture Updated: Oct 07, 2009 13:34 IST

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A heady mix of Ramlila, bhangra, dandiya, yoga and fireworks will highlight a 30-hour-long, non-stop Indian Mahautsav here at the weekend.

What has been described as the longest festival ever being held at the city's famous Rogers Center from October 9-10, the mahautsav will showcase Indian culture and more than a dozen Bollywood stars and singers. It will cost more than a million dollars and attract more than 100,000 people, organizers claimed here Tuesday. The Rogers Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto is the main venue of all major events in Canada.

The stars of the laser-laced show will be Sunidhi Chauhan, Mahalakshmi Iyer, Stereo Nation and Master Saleem. They will be joined by Kashmira Shah, Krushna, Aashka, Amit, Hussain, Tina, Aamir, Eijaz and Sanjeeda to provide the very best of Bollywood to Canadians, the organizers said.

Javed of Nach Baliye fame will choreograph dance performances.

The world-famous Sikh hymn singer Daya Singh of Australia, who has blended traditional music with contemporary trends, will present his unique music focused on spiritual messages of truth, love, peace harmony, equality and justice.

This biggest-ever South Asian festival extravaganza is aimed at raising awareness about the rich South Asian culture and traditions among Canadians, event organizer Harpreet Sethi, who runs the Grand Victorian Convention Centre here, said.

"We want the world and Canada to know our culture. Also, it is a time of recession and people are not able to travel or go out that much, so we want to provide some brightness into their lives on Diwali,'' he said.

Sethi added: "We will offer the very best in entertainment - be it Bollywood dance and music, devotional music, religious or yoga discourses.

"There will be pyro (fireworks) bhangra, dandiya, Ramlila and lectures, laser shows and many other festivities," he said.