Paint it red with La Tomatina fest | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Paint it red with La Tomatina fest

The reverberations of a decades old Spanish festival are being felt in the Capital. A rendition of the La Tomatina — the Spanish tomato festival where participants throw squashed tomatoes at each other — will be held in the city on Saturday.

delhi Updated: Jul 29, 2011 00:41 IST
Mallica Joshi

The reverberations of a decades old Spanish festival are being felt in the Capital. A rendition of the La Tomatina — the Spanish tomato festival where participants throw squashed tomatoes at each other — will be held in the city on Saturday.

According to officials from the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Committee, the production of tomatoes is normal this year and the wholesale rate is Rs 12 per kilo.

“During monsoons, the rate of all vegetables is on the higher side,” said IA Khan, joint secretary of the committee.

In Spain, low quality and cheap tomatoes are specially grown for the festival. These are provided to the participants by the city council.

There are strict rules for those participating in the festival. Participants are not allowed to bring any sharp objects or glass bottles with then to the city centre where the fest is held. The fest lasts only an hour and anyone not adhering to the timing is severely reprimanded. Tearing clothes or misbehaving is looked down upon and the police are present to make sure that any untoward incident does not take place.

Although the Facebook invitation to the event has already got around 15,000 confirmations, it has also gathered a strong negative response.

“Destroying food merely for the sake of fun is immoral. In a country where millions are starving and one third of the population is malnourished, throwing away food is not fun at all. I appeal to the organisers to use the money for something more useful instead,” said Kavita Srivastava, a Right to Food Campaign activist.

The festival, which is inspired by the La Tomatina fest in Spain and the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, will be held in a south Delhi farmhouse. It will start at 4 pm and will go on till 8 pm. The amount of tomatoes ordered for the fest is not known so far.

The tomato fest has also garnered a negative response from many Facebook users.

“This is ridiculous. You are wasting food and water while children on the streets are going hungry everyday,” said Archisman Sinha

But it is not just the wastage that has got people worried. “Who will make sure that people don’t misbehave and it doesn’t become a stage to molest and tease women. We are not ready for something of this kind. Most men in the city do not know how to behave and this fest is a recipe for disaster,” said Vaishali Nagpal, a BPO employee.