United India Diwali Festival Draws 400 People, 150 Performers

NEWTON, MA–United India Association of New England, known as held its annual Diwali celebrations on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015 at the Newton South High School. It was an enjoyable event with 150 plus performers and had about 400 attendees .The evening was a culmination of a lot of planning and hard work by a dedicated team of Dr. Neela Gandhi, Parvin Khetarpal and the rest of the UIA team.

UIA-DiwaliThe performers ranging from ages 5 years to 50 plus years danced to the music ranging from folk to Bollywood. Some of the performers were also the choreographers.

The festivities started with a “Diwali Pujan” which comprised of bhajans by the committee ladies of UIA and lighting of diyas by young children followed by aarti. After the prayers, the Emcees of the evening led by Rakashi Chand and Paresh Motiwala started the talent showcase, which opened a cute performance by a group of young tots in pink costumes called Bollywood superstars performed to the mix of London Thumakda, Chitiyaan Kalaiyan and Selfie Le Le Re.

The emcees for the cultural program included Jhoom Jain, Aditya Soni, Sonika Vaid, Shailin Vaid, Radhika Khosla, Puneet Motiwala, Divya Sharma and Shiva Ghai. The Dhamaka girls performed in colorful pink, orange and purple costumes to a high energy item full of fun and smiles item Gun Gun Guna Re from the movie Agneepath movie choreographed by Shikha Malhotra, Rinaa Punglia and Priya Desai. EmCees were trained by Paresh Motiwala of Circles of Growth.

The Masti group from Nikita’s Bollywood dance academy junior group of kids presented a masti performance with songs of Photocopy and Avaiye Avaiye. The Newton Vidyanjali Dancers presented a semi-classical dance in Bharatanatyam choreographed by Anandini Sekhar to the movie Satyam Shivam Sundaram and Taal Se Taal. The young high on energy and love of life boys performed on a totally tapori dance and let it go and were having good old Diwali fun on the songs from Rageela Re and Nacho Sare G Phadke by Jyoti Setty.

The performance India India Wale from the movie “Happy New Year” was a fast-paced Bollywood dance with a touch of hip- hop by young boys choreographed by Deepak Malhotra. The performance by Triveni dance group choreographed by Neena Gulati presented Kalavati Tillana in Bharatnatyam Style.The Bhangra Punjabans who are a group of middle school aged girls of Medford and Somerville performed on Mele Chaliya te leke aave Chudiyan choreographed by Sonal Bali. The students of Devika Fusion Dance performed on a colorful and vibrant Bollywood number with remix from Aankh Mare, Saat Samandar, Sooraj,Dooba Hai, Chittiyaan Kalaiyan which showcased from the 90’s to modern times, Bollywood style.

There was a very cute fancy dress parade for young children on the song Bum Bum Bhole. Pushpa Karna from Aalok Fashions presented a glamorous fashion show coordinated by Harjinder (Lovely) Kaur, showing a variety of ethnic wear from Punjabi suits, lehengas and saris. Aashayein, which means Hope and Aspirations choreographed by Ranjani Saigal was a piece created for an Ekal Vidyalaya fundraiser to depict the hope that Ekal brings to the children of rural remote India.

“Bhangra Boys” a team of energetic boys learning the traditional dance under the tutelage of Hardeep Singh entertained the audience with flamboyant/energetic moves and also the slow classic moves called jhoomer on a medley of punjabi songs-Time Table, Jutti da asoor, Jita Zalidaar, Range.An energetic performance by ladies performed a mixed gidha boliyan.Asthma sadgamya and Vallah re vallah choreographed by Jasmine Shah from Aaangikaam Dance Academy were performed by ladies young at heart who have a passion for dancing.

Ramji Ki Chammak Challo choreographed by Archana Gorur were performed by group of young boys on the songs Chammak Challo and Tattad Tattad (Ramji Ki Chal Dekho).A couples garbha/ dandia dance, Dandia with a twist also choreographed by Archana Gorur were performed on the songs Mor Bani Thanghat Kare Tune Maari Entriyaan.The finale was an energetic punjabi medley by Fauj, Boston’s premier all-male bhangra army which brought the cultural program to a close.

There were several raffles prizes to be won during the program like gift certificates donated by Trader Joes, Wegmans, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, and Spa certificates from Roshni’s Day Spa.
A plaque in grateful appreciation for years of outstanding service, inspiration, dedication, support and leadership for our Community to Mr. Harish and Mrs. Binita Dang for their 40 years service of Sounds of India. The plaque was presented by Mr. Devider Dutt and Mr. Vijay Selhi and the Senior board of advisors, Mr. Kidar Vaid, Mr. Jatinder Sharma and Mrs Dolly Raja.

Dr. Gandhi extended her diwali greetings to all and thanked the participants, parents and choreographers who worked so hard to produce such a colorful and vibrant program, the business community whose generosity had made the event a success and called the UIANE committee on the stage and thanked them for the opportunity and all their support to make every event such a success.

The presenting sponsor was Tufts Health Plan. Dr. Greeshma Shetty spoke about November being Diabetes Awareness Month and when to screen for Diabetes.

The authentic vegetarian food catered by Walnut Grille and Kulfi by Bollywood Delights was available in the cafeteria throughout the event.The vendors which ranged from Boutique Clothing and Jewelry by Apurva Javedkar, Dilpreet Singh, Hema Choksi, S’embles and SGewelry, Sai Arabhi Collections,Finishing Touch by Sandhyasree Padmanabhan,Baked goods and mehndi by Swati Sritivastava, financial advisor Ravindra Mahadev from Ameriprise,Non-profits like Indian Circle for Caring and SEWA International and Newton Balvihar,The event was sponsored with the help of several businesses in the New England area who were able to give an advertisement in the annual diwali brochure program book.

The UIANE is a non-profit organization founded in 1984 with a core mission to preserve, promote and nurture the values of our Indian heritage by planning, developing and executing programs which bring the community together.

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