The Indian Association of Lesotho (IAL) on Thursday held the 25th edition of its food, trade and cultural fair at Machabeng College grounds on Thursday.
The ceremony was officially opened by the wife of the Honourary Councilor of India Mrs Bakaya and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Mohlabi Tsekoa. To officially launch the proceedings, the duo lit candles which, according to the Indian tradition, symbolises the removal of darkness and ignorance as well as bringing forth light and knowledge.
IAL was established in 1988 as a non-profit, non-partisan and non-sectarian organisation with the primary purpose of providing a cultural and educational platform for people of Indian-descent in Lesotho.
“It is wonderful to be here in one accord as we celebrate the good interrelations these two countries have developed,” said Dr Sahila Peerbhai as he welcomed guests.
“Today’s gathering is intended to provide a platform for the international community and Basotho to showcase their cuisine and culture through art and crafts.
“We have quite a number of stalls here so let us go around them see the products made by different cultures, Basotho, Indians and Ethiopians, while we taste the food to acknowledge the friendship,” she said.
The invited guests included the Speaker of Parliament Mr Sephiri Motanyane, deputy Health Minister Dr Nthabiseng Makoae and other Indian dignitaries including the commissioner of South Africa to Lesotho.
Also speaking at the event on behalf of the government of Lesotho, Mr Tsekoa said he felt honoured to be part of such a celebration.
“I am pleased to be part of this event and shaking hands to mark the friendship and cooperation between India and Lesotho symbolised by our partnership in education, arts and culture, thus promoting brotherhood and sisterhood.
“Over the 25 years of its existence, IAL has delivered its mandate in ensuring that friendship and cooperation go hand in hand.”
“It has lived in its spirit to be a non-profit and non-partisan organisation that is focused on promoting social and intercultural community,” added Mr Tsekoa.
“This is a call to all my countrymen to take advantage of events of this nature to uplift commerce and sell their culture to other nations.”
The food showcased at the fair, reflected the different cultural backgrounds with Basotho, Indian and Ethiopian cuisine sold at the stalls, while local companies were also given the opportunity to market their products.