CHICAGO: The annual “Punjabi Mela” and the 14th International “Kabaddi” and Volleyball tournament organized by Punjabi Sports Club and Cultural Club Chicago was held on Saturday, June 25 at Busse Woods Forest Preserve, Elk Grove Village, a northwest suburb of Chicago.
This annual mega event was well attended and enjoyed by all attendees thanks to complimentary entrance, mouth watering dishes, mehndi application, and competitive traditional sports (Kabaddi and Volleyball). This was followed by an award ceremony and live musical performance by famous Punjabi singers.
The game of Kabaddi has huge following in India and this was also reflected here with a big number of people flocking to the Busse Woods to watch this game. The game is known by various other names viz. Chedugudu or Hu-Tu-Tu in southern parts of India, Hadudu (men) and Chu – Kit-Kit (women) in eastern India, and Kabaddi in northern India. This sport is also popular in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Japan and Pakistan as well.
Tournaments were kicked off after traditional opening prayer (Ardaas) ceremony by Palatine Granthi Bhai Gurjant Singhji. There was live commentary by Makhan Ali who made a special trip for the occasion all the way from India.
Competing teams hailed from the States of Wisconsin, Indiana, New York, Texas, Illinois, Virginia and Michigan. Principal Kabaddi Referees were Dawinder Singh and Pandit Surkhpur both from Punjab. The 3rd referee was Kippa Tanda.
Final championship match was between Indiana and Milwaukee. After intense competition, Indiana beat Wisconsin (Milwaukee) by the score of 23.5 points Indiana vs. 21 points. The winning Indiana team was Meri Peri.
Second place winner prize to Milwaukee Team was sponsored and awarded by Ghuman Brothers (Indianapolis). Best Raider special prize of Kabaddi was claimed by Jassa Sidhwan and Gori. Best Stopper trophy was claimed by Donte California. Best Kabaddi were Vicky Ghour, Baljeet Sadoke, Navi Johal, Sodhi Jodhe, Rana Bhandal.
In separate category of “under 21 years” Kabaddi players from Michigan claimed 1st place. Runner-up team winner was from Virginia.
First place winner in Volleyball championship was S. Bhagat Singh Sports Club Chicago, Illinois and Second Place was claimed by Madison Sports Club of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
At the conclusion of sport tournaments, social and entertainment “Mela” commenced attended by big crowd.
Various prominent community leaders including sponsors of events were present. Special Guests for the evening were Dr Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India, Chicago and Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, who was the Grand Sponsor of the event.
K K Pamma provided fresh hot and delicious food. Delicious lunch and dinner comprised paronthas, Mixed Vegetable Pakoras, Chana Palak, Dal Makhani, Mater Paneer, Rice, and homemade sweets like Jalebies. Also served were cold drinks, Masala Chai, Coffee etc. Live performance by Punjabi singers entertained the audience with their melodious folk songs.
Overall, the event was a great success and all guests raved about the wonderful organization of the unforgettable event.
Asian Media USA