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Vaisakhi celebrations at Indo American Center

April 16
02:20 2011

Govindbhai Limbachia

CHICAGO: Seniors in Chicagoland flocked to Indo American Center (IAC) recently to celebrate a Punjabi harvest and New Year festival, Vaisakhi, with a lot of enthusiasm and fervor.
Though Vaisakhi in a way historically is also associated with Sikh religion and New Year, it was a gathering of mostly of Hindus, Muslims and Jains with no presence of Sikhs. This clearly underlined the huge Indian cultural diversity with underlying unity of purpose and thought.

The organizers primarily were from Punjab and Delhi – Kapurs and Chawlas but they were equally supported by those from Gujarat and Mumbai. And besides a sort of Punjabi Bhangra style dance, there was Gujarati Garba participated by all and sundry present.

IAC has evolved a tradition of celebrating all important festivals and national Indian holidays with fanfare and the Vaisakhi celebration was no different. Gita Chawla and Shiv Chawla were coordinators with a good degree of initiative from Sher Mohammed Rajput, an IAC Director, and Govindbhai Limbachia, an IAC activist and Sudaksha Kapoor, a former professor in India but now settled here.

Govindbhai Limbachia started the ball rolling by welcoming all and singing a devotional song in praise of Goddess Amba and then Sudaksha Kapoor, who emceed the event, took over dwelling on the importance of Vaisakhi from religious, social and cultural angles. The historical perspective that she presented was quite informative and the seniors who were present welcomed it. Sher Mohammed Rajput in his own unassuming way welcomed all and talked about the activities of the Center. Gita Chawla then briefly addressed the meet and mentioned that Vaisakhi was very auspicious day in the Punjab and was akin to Diwali that is celebrated in most States of Indian Union.

There were good singers to entertain the audience of 100 plus. They were Kirist Shah, Adam Usman and Suresh Sukhadia. Bashir Dubha who has two decades of experience as an entertainer under his belt, regaled those present with innovative jokes. There was a Garba dance and it was participated by young and old. Shiv Chawla was in charge of the one man orchestra. Sudaksha Kapoor proposed a vote of thanks.

Harish Rao

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