Five picks at this year's Indian Summer festival in Vancouver

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      The Indian Summer festival offers a smorgasbord of literary events, food, music, and film at several venues in Vancouver.

      The breadth of the festival, which runs from July 3 to 12, creates a dilemma for those who don’t have the time to see everything. To help you navigate your way through the program, here are five recommendations.


      Capital: Portrait of a Megalopolis, with Rana Dasgupta

      This thoughtful Anglo-Indian author’s new book, Capital: A Portrait of Delhi in the Twenty-First Century, earned a glorious review in the Guardian for its examination of how capitalism has evolved in peculiar ways in Delhi, where he’s lived for 14 years. The articulate Dasgupta disagrees with western journalists’ oft-stated notion that the road to modernity in emerging cities merely replicates what’s happened in America and Europe. He’ll explain why he feels the world is diverging rather than becoming more monolithic.
      (At the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at SFU Woodward’s at 8 p.m. on Friday [July 4])

      A Hundred Ways to Kiss the Ground

      Expect an enchanting night of Sufi music to accompany celebrated American poet Coleman Barks, a renowned interpreter of 13th-century Persian poet Rumi. As part of the program, musicians Mohamed Assani, Hossein Behroozinia, Jamal Salavati, and Hamin Honari will take the audience on a musical journey through various Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries that the Sufi mystic called home. For more on this event, see Alexander Varty’s article.
      (At St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church at 8 p.m. on Saturday [July 5])

      Passages at MOV

      Canada was forever changed on July 23, 1914, when immigration authorities expelled the Komagata Maru and the more than 350 South Asian migrants onboard from Vancouver’s harbour. Experience the emotional and cultural impact of one of the city’s most important historical events with poets Phinder Dulai, Priscila Uppal, and Renée Sarojini Saklikar. They’ll be joined by the haunting music of the Neelamjit Dhillon Quartet.
      (At Museum of Vancouver at 6 p.m. on Sunday [July 6])

      Laughing All the Way to the Mosque

      Celebrate Ramadan with the often hilarious Saskatchewan-based creator of Little Mosque on the Prairie, Zarqa Nawaz, in conversation with actor, playwright, and dancer Anita Majumdar. Nawaz, a former journalist, has a new memoir explaining how a hijab-wearing mother of four who didn’t make it to medical school managed to succeed in the hypercompetitive world of entertainment. She’ll also reveal how she persuaded CBC bosses to air an unusual sitcom exploring relations between Muslims and Christians.
      (At SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at 8 p.m. next Wednesday [July 9])

      5 X 15

      Modelled on a lecture series in London, this is an opportunity to hear five brilliant thinkers offer concise presentations on whatever interests them on this evening. Hosted by Sharad Kharé, the diverse lineup features best-selling Iranian-American author Reza Aslan, Haida Nation visual artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Little Mosque on the Prairie creator and author Zarqa Nawaz, storyteller and performer Ivan Coyote, and actor, playwright, and dancer Anita Majumdar.
      (At the Fox Cabaret at 9 p.m. next Thursday [July 10])

      That’s not all, of course. There’s a free showing of Bend It Like Beckham at 6 p.m. (movie starts at dusk) next Friday (July 11) in Victory Square. For those who want to move their bodies Indian-style, there are free hip-hop yoga, Bollywood dance, and bhangra lessons in the Woodward’s Atrium at 5 p.m. next Wednesday (July 9) to Friday (July 11). Try it. You’ll like it.

      To view the full Indian Summer festival program, go to the Indian Summer Festival website.