The heart of Bangalore, Doddapete Square, is set to witness a unique celebration as the inaugural edition of Unboxing Bangalore Habba unveils itself with a captivating bullock cart parade on November 30. This 11-day extravaganza, spanning from December 1 to 11, is poised to become Bengaluru’s cultural centerpiece, embracing arts, literature, culture, food, heritage, and technology.
The inspiration for Unboxing Bangalore Habba draws from global festivals like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where people from around the world converge. Ravichandar expresses, “We don’t have anything like that in India.” This grand celebration encapsulates three of the city’s most-loved events: Bangalore Literature Festival, Bengaluru Design Week, and Bengaluru Tech Summit. With the collaboration of 52 event partners, including renowned venues such as Bangalore International Centre (BIC), Indian Music Experience Museum, Shoonya, Museum of Art and Photography, Courtyard Koota, and Lahe Lahe, the festival promises a diverse and rich cultural experience.
What sets this edition apart is the concerted effort to bring the festival closer to the citizens. Ravichandar states, “We’re bringing the festival closer to people’s homes and offices.” All of BBMP’s parks are set to be transformed into cultural hubs for the duration of the festival. The civic body has graciously allowed the use of parks, with the only condition being the prohibition of food or sale of items on the premises. To ensure accessibility, fitness activities are scheduled at five different parks in the morning, followed by 30 musical events in various BBMP parks in the evening.
Residents will also be an integral part of this cultural fiesta. Resident welfare associations are encouraged to organize fun activities, providing a platform for local talent. Additionally, street carnivals are planned in six different localities, including Church Street, Yelahanka, Whitefield, Jayanagar, Malleswaram, and Sarjapura.
For history enthusiasts, Unboxing Bangalore Habba offers a journey through time with heritage walks. These walks will explore the tales of prominent landmarks such as Cubbon Park, Bangalore Fort, Tipu Sultan’s Palace, All Saints Church, temples of Halasuru, and old Bangalore neighborhoods like Malleswaram, Cottonpete, Chickpete, Basavanagudi, and Cantonment. Food walks are also on the agenda, ensuring a culinary exploration of the city’s diverse flavors.
In a special focus on promoting Kannada language and culture, the festival presents five Kannada plays by Jangama Collective, including ‘Jugari,’ ‘Na Rajguru,’ ‘Kanive Hadu,’ ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist,’ and ‘Dweepa.’ BIC will contribute to this linguistic celebration by hosting Yakshagana and Talamaddale events in different parts of the city. ‘Nityotsava,’ a vocal performance of vachana and dasa sahitya by musician Chitra Srikrishna, adds a melodic dimension to the cultural panorama.
As Unboxing Bangalore Habba unfolds, it not only promises a celebration of culture but also envisions a community-driven, inclusive festival that resonates with every citizen of Bengaluru. The festival’s diverse offerings and strategic partnerships create a cultural tapestry that aims to leave a lasting imprint on the city’s cultural landscape.