AIA, Illinois Chapter, Celebrates Gandhiji’s Birthday with a Youth Talent Show
Chicago IL: Over 400 people gathered to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 142st birthday on Sunday, November 6, 2011 with an outstanding performance of talent by youth at the Hindu temple of greater Chicago (Lemont Temple), 10915 Lemont Rd, Lemont, IL. The event was organized by the Association of Indians in America (Illinois Chapter). The talent show consisted of performances by children and youth ranging from elementary school children from 8 to 28 years of age.
Over 100 talented artists participated in this event. Each performance was grand and took weeks for these performers to prepare for this event. There were total 10 dance schools participated and most of the group performances had over 10 participants. More than 30 youth were involved from University of Illinois, DePaul University and UIC – Champaign Urbana. These type of dance need a lot of co-ordination and they were all superb performances with colorful modern and traditional costume. The performance consisted of Gujarati Garbo, Odyssey Nritya, Bharat Natyam, Bollywood dances and fusion dances. Every performance was absolutely astonishing. The youths performed almost like professionals.
The program started with the American national anthem followed by the Indian national anthem. Mr. Salil Mishra, the chairperson of the event formally welcomed the guests, member and the participants of the program. He said that the AIA needs the infusion of young blood to keep the organization vibrant and also fulfill the needs of its mission of promoting Indian culture among Indian American youth.
In his remarks, Mr. Naren Patel said that he has been serving as the AIA President since last four years and out of all activities the most fulfilling undertaking is to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti every year without fail. He is proud that AIA is involving and encouraging them to participate, compete and give them cash rewards for their hard work and talent. This way AIA is also promoting Indian Heritage and culture for the next generation. Mr. Naren Patel welcomed the audience and wished “Happy Diwali” and “Happy Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday” to all attendees. He also thanked the audience for supporting the youth talent show and said that he was very happy to take the AIA to its peak during his four years of presidency. He specifically said that it is more important now than ever before that we need to spread Mahatma Gandhi’s message of peace and non-violence. He said that he was very appreciative of the work done by the executive committee members, Mrs. Beena Patel, Anil Sharma, and Chair Salil Mishra. He also wanted to thank Ms. Lucy Pandey and Santosh Pandey for their continued support.
In his remarks Dr. Ghanshyam Pandey, Chairman – Board of Trustees, AIA Illinois Chapter, said that AIA has always put special emphasis on youth programs from the beginning of its inception and has organized youth and children’s programs every year during the 1980 period and many second generation Indians were involved in the youth programs at that time. After a lapse of few years the AIA is re-starting youth programs and youth talent shows and this is one example of it. AIA Illinois chapter also celebrates Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday each year and this year we are celebrating Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday with the involvement of the youth. He said, “What could be a better way to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi than to have our youth involved and present their talents to celebrate his birthday?” Dr. Pandey gave complements to President Naren Patel for bringing his expertise and resources to the organization and most of all his generosity.
Salil Mishra, Vice President, AIA (Illinois Chapter) conducted the program and did an excellent job as a Master of Ceremony. The talent show then started with Opening Prayer dance by Bollywood Rhythem students. This was a youth talent competition for dancers and about 10 groups participated in this competition. The groups consisted of small groups consisting of 2 to 4 persons as well as larger groups of about 10 –15 participants . The dance performance consisted of classical, semi-classical, Bollywood style dancing, Bhangra and fusion dances. The performances were judged by a group of 3 judges.
After opening prayer dance by Bollywood Rhythm students and the voluntary Performance by Kalapadma Dance Academy, Dance by Gujarati Garbo and Odyssey Dance Performance by Utkaala Dance Academy, Performance by Bollywood Rhythms, Bharat Natyam by Nrithyanjali School of Dance (Simron, Ashmitha, Aparna, [halak, Kavyya, and Sireesha), Performance by UIUC Fizaa (Iyoti Mishra and team), Bhangra by Dhamaal Group Performance by Dancing Divas: Vidhi and Prachi Patel, Performance from Gauri Jog’s team and Mixed Melody by Bollywood Rhythms
Allarulu Kuriyaga ( Annamacharya Keertanam), Ragam: Shankarabaranam, Adi Thalam Students of Sushmita Arunkumar of Nrithyanjali School of Dance (Simron Sahoo, Aasmitha Chitturi, Aparna Gollakota, Jhalak Modi, Kavya Poola, Sireesha Damaraju)
The songs describe the beautiful dance of Goddess Lakshmi (also called Alamelu Manga). Like the charm of a half bloomed flower, when women around praised her, behind the translucent screens, she danced, stepping with the speed of lightning and melting the heart of Lord Hari. With rubies in her toe rings, with the shimmer of diamonds of her anklets spreading around and appreciation of the Lord of Venkatapati , swirling gracefully she danced.
- Judges Kiran Chauhan, Bhagya Nagesh and Gauri Jog.
- Bollywood Song by Anil Sharma of Kishor Kumar and Mohammad Rafi.
- The program ended with a Mixed Melody by Bollywood Rhythms during which time the judges finalized their decision about the competition.
- The first place for dance competition was Fizza Dance Group from U of I.
- The Second place for dance completion was Bollywood Rhythm.
- The Third place for dance completion was Gauri Jog’s Bharatnatyam team.
- Consolation Price was given to Chicago Dhamal Group.
- All Groups received $100 consolation price from the Medstar Laboratory owner Naren Patel.
- The winner of the first place received an award of $500, the second place winners received a prize of $300 and the third place award winners received a prize of $200.
The vote of thanks was proposed by Beena Patel. Beena thanked the Dance Gurus for continuing dance education for our children and parents for keeping our culture alive for years to come by instilling traditional values. Beena thanked the sponsors; Medstar Laboratory, Air India, State Bank of India, Millennium Bank, Vitha Jewelers and Anil K. Sharma Agency, Farmers Insurance. Beena thanked the Vishwa Gujarati Samaj USA members, Six Gam Patidar Samaj members and UP Association Members for attending the program.
Media Partners present were Suresh Bodiwala from Asian Media USA, and Vandana Jhingan from TV Asia. Suresh Bodiwala Chairman from Asian Media USA had an opportunity to find out Mrs. Naren Patel’s perspective on the AIA and today’s event where he replied ” AIA (Illinois Chapter) organized youth and children’s programs specially focusing on their needs on “How to grow in two cultures”, cultural programs, making youth aware of their culture and also social get-togethers, so that children and youth could meet each other in a social environment. AIA recognized that the third generation children and youth again need to get together and has reinitiated youth programs not only to make them aware of our culture and heritage, but also to showcase their talent, and in that respect has organized Youth Talent Show and competition including essay contests on various topics. Today’s program was another attempt to showcase their talent and I am very happy to see not only the participation of youth (about 120 of them), but also a large participation of the audience” (about 400)”.
AIA is the longest running Indian organization in America as it was founded in 1967. The organization has many chapter located all over the country all sharing the same democratic principles of “one member one vote”. They have organized countless events and programs to better the Indian community in the area and these endeavors encourage the artistic expression s of the younger members of our community.
The AIA Illinois chapter plans to hold other youth programs and it was a unique way to celebrate the birthday of the world’s most influential proponent of peace Mahatma Gandhi. Association of Indian in America (Illinois Chapter) AIA is the grassroots organization of Asian Indian immigrants in Illinois. AIA (Illinois Chapter) represents the hopes and aspirations of those immigrants who are united by their common bond of Indian heritage and American commitment. Among many programs that the Illinois Chapter organizes is the Independence Day program, Youth Talent Show, and most important Gandhi Jayanti, in addition to other community programs.
About Mahatma Gandhi
About Mahatma Gandhi was born in Porbandar on October 2, 1869. The world celebrates the day as International Non-violence Day. Nation is remembering Mahatma Gandhi, who gave message of non-violence, truth and love to the world. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation He is the man who played a significant role in achieving independence .Gandhi’s significance is universal countless people around the world have been touched by his spirit. He taught us to stand resolutely against fear, to understand the importance of truth and to work for the eradication of poverty, illiteracy and discrimination,”
Photographs and Press release by: Asian Media USA
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