With so many Aum signs everywhere, it was hard to believe that I wasn’t back home in my grandmother’s prayer room, waiting for her to light the lamp. But then the high pitched shrieks of teenage girls in flower crowns and teensy crop tops passed by and reminded me that this wasn’t my amma’s house in Phoenix, Durban. If she was anywhere near, even a sari that didn’t properly cover your belly would be deemed inappropriate.
This was the National Arts Festival, revered as 11 days of amazing by some and slammed by others for being a space of incredible privilege, only accessible to mostly rich white people. And yet the products been sold at the Village Green, the main trading hub of the Festival, could have easily been mistaken for your local Gorimas or Memsaab store. Continue reading