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UIA, IANH And SNEH Diwali Celebrations

Anil Saigal
11/04/2003

The India Association of New Hampshire (www.ianh.org) celebrated the Diwali festival on Saturday October 25 at Mastricola Middle School in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Over 250 people from all over New Hampshire and some from Massachusetts attended the event. The festival presented a panorama of Indian music and dance. Representative Pierre Bruno spoke about the importance of cultural diversity and ambassador George Bruno graced the festival with his presence.

Divya Narayanan, Jyothi Sharma, Gayathri Narayanan, SriBhavna Vadlamani, Mohana Raj, Krina Shah, Amritha Mangalat and other children presented very thrilling Indian classical music and dance performances. Chintamani Siwakoti presented an interesting Nepali folk dance. Children from Aangikam Academy of Dance and other children presented some very popular dance numbers.

The cultural program was followed by authentic Indian dinner catered by Gurnam Catering Service and Dandiya orchestrated by DJ Ravi Singh. The festival also featured a showcase of products, services, Presidential Campaign organizers, and Non-Profit organizations that attracted many from the audience.

--- Tej Dhakar

The United India Association of New England held their 2003 Diwali Celebrations at the Winchester High School on October 18, 2003. Om Bhatia, President of UIA in his message said, "This Diwali, I ask the community and its members to share the light in a positive way, one that invokes the spirit of compassion; and, that as a community, we take great strides this year involving others in becoming members in our organization and planning more activities central to the goal of preserving and promoting our Indian heritage."

The celebrations included a cultural program and dinner. Rakashi Khetrapal did a great job as the emcee of the program. After the opening remarks by Puran Dang, past President of UIA, it was time for dance and music. Some of the dancers who performed were Devam Dhawan, Prashati and Prakiru Upadhyay, Megha Agrawal, Anuhya Ghorakavi, Smita and Rashmi Mutt, Michelle and Shivani Sudan, Gauri Nagpal, Rohan, Rajit and Rohit Malhotra, Devika Dhawan, Shaifali Lohia, Annaya Sen Gupta, Priyanka Srinivasan, Natasha Khetarpal, Rupangi and Rohan Datta, Amrita Saigal, Vinisha Patel, Komal Patel, Manashi Shinde,Monali Gidwani, Kapil Dilwali, Sonam and Sagar Dilwali, Harman Luther, Swami Saxena nad Kush Sharma. Besides the invocational song by Kumkum Dilwali, Sasha Vasser and Rohan Datta, Priya Sherring sang a number of Hindi songs. A special part of program was the awarding of trophies to all the participants. A well organized event which started and finished on time.

--- Anil Saigal

On 25th October, yes on Diwali day, I woke up with a homesick feeling. Quiet surroundings instead of expected hustle and bustle of Diwali back at home. But really all my frustrations disappeared as soon as I found my presence in Society of New England Hindians (SNEH) Diwali function at Westborough church. Nearly hundred people gathered over there, all in their traditional outfits competing for the best outfit prize as well as to match the traditional and religious feelings in them for this biggest festival of light "Deepawali".

Function started at 6.00 pm with pooja and parshad making the environment just beyond expectation, "so religious that too out of India". With desi snacks the cultural programme started that included some dances, practical jokes on various phases of life and ofcourse the summary of literal meaning as well as the history of this festival. Cultral program was then followed by exotic dinner. But this was not the end of this grand finale, now it was the turn of each and every guest to dance and enjoy this moment in his or her own way. Even before realizing, it was 11.00 pm and time to end this beautiful event. Guests started leaving the place full of new enthusiasm and the feeling of satisfaction which could be easily read on their faces.

Congratulations to Mr. Dilip Verma (Founder of this group) and the members of SNEH to make this event very successful and memorable so that people can look forward for such a function in each and every Diwali to come.

--- Shivani Soni



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