On Tuesday afternoon I was delighted to be invited to the opening of Incredible India, back by popular demand at Mall of Africa. It was such an immersive experience of the Indian culture and lifestyle where we had live demonstrations and even authentic Indian food tastings. Hidden in the parking lot of entrance 26 at Mall of Africa and draped with colourful fabrics and lights, Incredible India invites you to a quick trip to India where the smells, sights and sounds capture the essence of authentic Indian culture.
Seated just in front of the main stage showing off some of their finest silk saris, we were treated to henna tattoos done by a gentleman who’s freehand artistry was mesmerising. Although I opted for a smaller design on my foot (as seen on my Instagram stories), he’s stall is near the front entrance to the right hand side where he will happily do any one of his wonderful designs at a small cost.
Using a member of the audience, Entertainment and Lifestyle blogger Taryn Victor, we were able to get a behind the scenes look into how a woman would get dressed in a traditional silk sari including make up, costume jewellery and shoes. Each vendor came on to stage to explain and detail a little bit more about their product. There was so much to learn about how to properly wrap the 6 meter long sari fabric into an outfit, what are the key elements to Indian make up, the intricate detailing of the costume jewellery, how to pair it with the colours of the fabric, matching the outfit with sparkling gold shoes as well as explaining the workmanship needed to create all of these products. Learning and understanding the process behind all of these products really does give you an appreciation of the Indian culture and lifestyle. We also had a demonstration of the men’s Indian outfit which was a quick and easy change into a traditional pants and top, while of course, us ladies take a little more time in getting ready.
But that was not all, not only did we get a showcase of some gorgeous hand-made carpets (which last years and appreciate in its value), we got to watch the making AND TASTING of some Indian foods including pani puri, masala tea and potato samosas. All of these and more can be purchased from the food court. It was my first time trying a lot of these foods, and I must say although hesitant at first, the masala tea, richly seeped in spices, was delicious and soothing, not as spicy as I had imagined. It never hurt to try something new.
Lastly, we heard from the sounds of a tradition Indian singer who was trained in classical Indian music. Of course the highlight of the event is the stalls throughout the market that are adorned in the most brilliant and bright colours, fabrics, textures and styles. What I enjoyed most while walking through the market was how warm and welcoming the stall owners were. Everyone was so excited to show off their works and always keen to tell you more about the products. The people were my favourite and made the experience such a pleasure. Although the entire market is slightly small, each stall offers plenty of products including clothing like beautiful silk saris, kurti tops and punjabis, cosmetic jewellery, silk carpets and scarfs, homeware, make up and more. Plus there is live entertainment from local and international Indian artists, magicians and illusionists.
I took some photos while on my walk through the market. Here’s a look at what you can expect to see:
Incredible India at Mall of Africa (Entrance 26, Lone Creek Cres & Magwa, Cres Midrand) is FREE to the public from Sunday to Thursday 11h00 – 21h00 and Friday, Saturday and Public Holidays from 11h00 – 22h00. Free secure parking available at the venue at Upper Level 5, Parking B & C for two hours until the end of May.
Please note: all above images are my own, property of waydenelaing.com, and cannot be used without my permission. See disclaimer.