Performers at the Himalayan Fair

For the past 22 years, Usha Lama has set up a booth at Berkeley’s Himalayan Fair to get the word out about Third Eye Travel, her Fremont-based travel business.

But coming to the fair has become much more than a mere marketing opportunity. While she often meets up with clients, she spends as much time seeing old friends – and making new ones.

“The Himalayan Fair is a beautiful thing for our community as we grow,” said Lama, who moved to the U.S. from Nepal in 1976. “We don’t get to meet all the time. The Himalayan Fair gives us an opportunity to get together once a year. It’s a meeting to tell how the children are doing. It’s a way to get in tough with everybody.”

Performer at Himalayan Fair

The 28th annual Himalayan Fair will be held at Live Oak Park on Saturday May 14 from 10 am to 7 pm and Sunday May 15 from 10 am to 5:30 pm. The fair, which was founded in 1983, will have performers from around the world, an extensive music schedule, children’s projects, crafts, jewelry, and art from Nepal, Tibet, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and a projected crowd of 6,000.

The fair has become an important fundraiser for grassroots organizations in Nepal. The fair has sent more than $250,000 to dozens of small organizations in the region. The funds have helped schools, monasteries, youth groups, hospitals, medical societies, and agricultural products.

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...