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United India Association Of New England Celebrates Diwali

Geetha Patil

The United India Association of New England Inc. (UIANE) started its celebrations of Diwali, the festival of lights by lighting the Boston City Hall with saffron/orange lights on Nov 3 and 4. In addition, blue lights on Longfellow & Zakim Bridge in Boston and Burns Bridge in Worcester and little earthen oil lamps at their houses to mark the victory of light over darkness. It also organized Rangoli contest and gift raffle for the participants. A virtual program, ‘UIANE 2021-Diwali Finale’, an evening filled with music and dance programs from New England choreographers and performers was planned on Sunday, November 14, 2021. Hundreds of audiences attended and enjoyed the program.

UIANE - a cultural, social and charitable organization was founded in 1984 with the core mission to preserve, strengthen, promote and nurture the values of our Indian heritage by planning, developing and executing programs to bring our community together and enriching our lives with great traditions. It usually holds cultural activities, seminars, and summer family picnic, New Year's celebration, Holi, Diwali and many more festivals. Due to COVIC-19 pandemic guidelines, UIANE is staging most of its programs virtually as almost 50% of the performers are under 12 years of age and are not vaccinated yet.

'I am so glad that we could continue our efforts through virtual programming from the very start of this COVID-19 era. We worked with many organizations to help the New England community to combat this pandemic via COVID-19 relief fund efforts, vaccine awareness and educational programs that help them to keep physically and mentally strong,’ said UIANE President Aditi Soni.

The program started with a video of Aarati of Ma Durga video graphed at Shivalaya Temple of Greater Boston. Aditi Soni welcomed and wished a happy and prosperous Diwali to everyone. Boston former Mayer Kim Janey extend her warmest Diwali greetings to all those celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights, in Boston and around the world and wished, ‘may your lives be filled with light, health, prosperity and peace!’

Then came a delightful cultural program with Wakhra Swag dance choreographed by Vasudha Kudrimoti followed by Lajwadi odni dance designed by Jasmine Shah. Young students of Mona's Dance Academy presented beautiful and elegant Ganesh Vandana and Guru Vandana dances in Kathak form a graceful classical dance stemmed from Natya Vedam – the creation of Lord Brahma. Over the years, new performers have given the ancient dance forms a new charter by changing their tonality, texture, and narrative, but always staying true to the grammar used in these classical dances.

Then number of Bollywood and Semi classical dances were presented to entertain the audiences. They included - Swasti and Bhargava designed Naach-Kamaria Odhani dance and presented by young women; Samriti Bhambi choreographed Little Bollywood Superstars dance; GeetikaBajpai’ BollyDanceGroup presented a contemporary dance. Nikita’s Bollywood Dance Academy divas displayed a present-day dance; Devika’s modern-day creations were presented by DFD Juniors and DFD fjasmibSeniors; Nikita Rao’ BDA Jrs. exhibited a dance; Jasmine Shah choreographed Limbadi dance; Vasudha Kudrimoti designed Raatan Lambiyan dance.

Aditi proposed thanks to all the sponsors namely, McDonalds, Coldwell Banker Realty, New York Life, ExpRealty, Compass Realty for their support and help them to put together 2021 Diwali celebration. She acknowledged with much appreciation Boston Mayor’s message and Diwali greetings. She also thanked the City of Boston and Worcester officials for decorating the City Hall and the bridges and her hard-working team for their dedication and services. She also extended her thanks to all the choreographers, performers and the audiences for their active participation and making the event a great success.

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