Indian Independence Day Event to Showcase City's South Asian Artists

By Rachel Holliday Smith on August 14, 2014 8:47am 

 Susan Peret is producing a show at Soapbox gallery in Prospect Heights on Indian Independence Day to highlight the South Asian artistic community in the city. Peret shaved the name of the show, "Bakwas," into her hair this week.
Susan Peret is producing a show at Soapbox gallery in Prospect Heights on Indian Independence Day to highlight the South Asian artistic community in the city. Peret shaved the name of the show, "Bakwas," into her hair this week.
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DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Writer Susan Peret will host a celebration of Indian culture Friday to mark the 67th anniversary of the country's independence. 

“Every year, I want to do something Indian connected to the tradition of my parents  and myself,” said Peret, 30, a native New Yorker who is also a stand-up comedian.

Her two-hour celebratory event at the Soapbox gallery, 636 Dean St., will feature dance, music, comedy, performance art and storytelling because for Peret, the holiday is about more than India's independence from England in 1947.

“For me, the concept of independence comes from being able to play,” she said. So, she named the show “Bakwas,” a Punjabi slang word meaning “nonsense.”

“When I think about ‘nonsense,’ I wanted to be free to create and engage people who come from all different backgrounds to show that version of independence,” she said, adding that she feels the South Asian community is creating a whole new culture in New York City.

“We’re independent to create the way we see fit.”

The show will feature comedian Nimesh Patel, traditional dancer Anisha Muni, artist Parul Verma and the classical music collective Brooklyn Raga Massive.

Bakwas is free with a suggested $5 donation to get in and is open to anyone interested in Indian culture, Peret said.

“It’s really [for] anyone who’s just curious to see what this world looks like,” she said. “You get the taste of tradition, but you also get the taste of the modern.”

Doors will open at the Soapbox Gallery for Bakwas at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 15 at 636 Dean St. between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues.

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