Little India finger food fiesta

Get set for a finger food fiesta at Birch Road, Little India, tomorrow (Sept 10).

The event, organised by the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (Lisha), will have about 100 stalls offering everything from pretzels and vadais to cocktail samosas. It will be held from 3pm to 6pm and food and entry are free for the public.

Indian restaurants, schools, embassies and other organisations will offer unique preparations.

For instance, the Guild International College's pretzels come in four flavours - representing the cultures of Singapore, while Moghul Mahal restaurant will introduce cocktail samosas.

Visitors can also taste Jalan Besar Indian Activity Executive Committee's special kueh dadar (sweet coconut pancake) and Abiramee Jewellers' beetroot vadai.

The finger food will come from different cuisines and reflect the rich street food culture of Singapore. There will be vegan, vegetarian, non-vegetarian and halal options.

"We hope that by bringing these cuisines together, Singaporeans and tourists can enjoy a wide variety of flavours with their friends and family at a single place," said Lisha chairperson Joyce Kingsley.

Supported by the Singapore Indian Development Association (Sinda) and the National Integration Council, the fiesta will have Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport Chee Hong Tat as the guest of honour. Ambassadors from Malaysia, Turkey and Australia will also attend.

The food fiesta is one of many events, both physical and virtual, lined up this year by Lisha to celebrate Deepavali, which falls on Oct 24.

The streets of Little India will be lit up from Sept 16 to Nov 13, featuring colourful lights and decorations revolving around the theme of dance and music.

At a media preview on Wednesday, Lisha general manager Abdul Raoof expressed excitement that this year's festivities will involve more physical events as compared to the Covid-hit past two years.

"About 80 per cent of our events this year will be physical. We expect an influx of visitors and tourists coming in, but we're not going to compromise on safety," he said.

"We have safety officers who will control the crowd and ensure that everyone remains safe."

A series of 12 events will be held from Oct 1 to 22, including a cultural showcase featuring song and dance performances to be held on Oct 8 and 22 at Poli @ Clive Street.

The first show will involve a Tamil rap competition, which will be judged by local rapper Yung Raja.

Under a collaboration between Lisha and SMRT, Deepavali designs will line the sides and floors of public trains and buses for six weeks, starting from Oct 3. A treasure hunt aimed at promoting Indian traditions will also be held on Oct 8 and 15, which would see participants visiting 10 different stations spread across Little India.

More details can be found at www.deepavali.sg.

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