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India Society Of Worcester Celebrates India Day In Worcester

Sahdev Passey / Raj Melville

The India Society of Worcester (ISW) celebrated the 61st anniversary of India’s Independence with an afternoon of Indian culture, dance, fashion and cuisine on August 10th, 2008. Over 1500 people attended the event that was held at the Italian American Cultural Center in Worcester.

“This is the 20th year that ISW has hosted its Annual India Day program”, said Dr. Sahdev R. Passey, chairman for the event. “We have continued to grow every year, attracting a diverse cross section of attendees from the local community as well as many Indians from all around. The variety of cultural items provides a window to the different cultures that span the Indian continent. We hope the hard work of the volunteers and participants help bring a little part of India to the western suburbs.”

Following Dr. Passey’s welcoming remarks, Meera Gupta, President of ISW, addressed the gathering and introduced the guest of honor, the Honorable Konstantins Lukes, Mayor of the City of Worcester. After a spirited rendering of the national anthems of the United States and India by Minakshi Biswas and opening bhajans by the Bharti Bhakta group, the event was formally inaugurated.

With over fifteen different dances, musical and instrumental pieces, there was something for everyone who attended. Mitali Biswas, Darshana Jani and Jasmine Shah shared the choreography responsibilities for the numerous dance performances. The dances ranged from ones set to Bollywood film songs to more traditional performances.

The venue was festively decorated with colorful stalls serving various Indian delicacies, and vendors displaying glittering Indian jewelry and elegant dresses, kurtas and shalwars. In addition, a free health clinic manned by volunteer doctors from ISW and IMANE allowed attendees to check their blood pressure, eyesight and other characteristics.  A Children’s Section was organized and staffed by the young volunteers from ISW’s Indian Youth Group and kept the younger folks engaged with a variety of activities.

The event was ably MC’d by Bhavna Srivastava, Tushar Pandey, Neena Mohanka and Puneet Narang. The rousing finale brought all the participants on stage for a beautiful rendering of the Indian tricolor accompanied in song.

The true measure of the event’s success was the hundreds of attendees who continued to stream in throughout the afternoon to listen and enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Indian subcontinent.  

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