The next Indian-language cultural festival in Baltimore could take place sometime in the next decade.
The Baltimore City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution supporting the city’s bid to host the annual Indian-American Cultural and Art Festival, a celebration of Indian culture that began in 2016 and is now the largest annual festival in the nation.
In the years since, the city has become a hub for the country’s most vibrant Indian community.
The Indian-origin population in Baltimore has nearly doubled to more than 15,000 over the past decade, with nearly 50 percent of the city population being Indian, according to the Census Bureau.
Culture leaders say the city is ready to host an Indian-led event because of its history and rich cultural heritage.
They say it is time for Baltimore to move beyond its colonial past.
“We need to move away from the Indian legacy,” said Rashmi Kaur, who runs the Baltimore-based Indian-owned arts center, Maud Jha Foundation.
“We need our history to be part of the fabric of our city, and that’s where we’re headed.”
Kaur says she believes the Indian-majority city can host an event of this magnitude, because it is already one of the best-known American Indian cities, attracting artists and performers from around the world.
“Baltimore is a city that’s so diverse that people don’t necessarily think of Indian-Americans as being this diverse,” she said.
“I think it’s very important to have an inclusive and diverse city and to not pigeonhole any one group of people.”
The cultural, cultural and art festivals that we have here are part of our history.
I think that it’s important that we continue to grow and that we expand our horizons.