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IAB Diwali Extravaganza 2019

Geetha Patil

IAB (Indian Americans for Burlington) members organized and celebrated ‘The Festival of Lights – Diwali Extravaganza 2019 - “Kutumbaka Samasana – Family & Togetherness” on Sunday, Sept 29th from 2:00pm to 6:30pm in the Burlington Town Common with US Rep. Seth Moulton, State Sen. Cindy Friedman, State Rep. Ken Gordon, Selectmen and other dignitaries in attendance. A huge Indian community appreciated a cultural extravaganza, enjoyable activities and delicious food. This event showcased especially the talents of young children and women from all around the New England region.

The first part of the program started with the welcoming of all the dignitaries, invitees, and the audiences by Mr. Anil Saigal and Indra Deb, the treasurer of IAB. Ms. Gini Pookattil, IAB president welcomed and thanked everyone for their active participation and briefly talked about the significance of the event and the objectives. Mr. Ken Gordan, State Representative, and Senator Cindy Friedman attended the program along with other dignitaries. Mr. Gordan went around the booths and talked to the children about their excitement.

Ma Lakshmi and Ganesh Vandana as invocation songs and an Odissi classical dance piece as an invocation dance were presented for being blessed for the success of the event by the local young artists. A dance, Garba Spirit as a part of Navaratri festival was shown through Bollywood and Tollywood medley by the young girls. This was followed by the kids’ group dance medley displaying Mehndi Ceremony in Indian Weddings. An amazing dance piece called ‘Natanam Aadinar’ – Bharatnatyam Classical celebrating Lord Shiva was presented to the audiences. Another interesting item showcased in front of the spectators was ‘Katputli (puppet) Dance – Hema Ki Katputliyan,’ a Katputli show that was followed by Katputli dance. A dashing Bollywood style group dance to the tune of Ghar More Pardesia depicted the essence of Diwali festival and a vibrant Odissi   dance to the song “Nache Bholanath” showcased a divine dance about the cosmic ecstatic dancer Lord Shiva.

In the second part of the event, the DFD Academy’s team shared its Sangeetha Medley in flash mob style which depicted the fun factors at the Indian Weddings. Burlington Queens presented a glanderous traditional dance from the Indian state of Kerala. Another group given a skit, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the world is one joint family.” Next items on the stage were fascinating folk dances that exhibited sweet Bengali Family times. Muqabala Dancers presented a Bollywood dance style named Sangeet Medley that pointed out celebrations at Sangeet. An awaited item of the event that narrated the return of Lord Ram and Ma Sita with a “Grand Tree Lightening,” titled Ghar Aye Siya ke Ram. The IAB Garba Group presented an energetic dance event called “Dandiya Raas – The Grand Finale.” A kids’ band called, The Youth Folks of Burlington presented an item called Dhamaka Raja Jr to the spectators who enjoyed it with these young artists and appreciated their talent.

The event included some tables especially dedicated for kids’ activities such as making of paper Diwali hanging lamps, painting and decorating of earthen lamps and greeting cards, drawing henna patterns, games, completions and others. Some other tables depicted the importance of Navaratri and Diwali festivals through many traditional artifacts and write ups. Many colorful vendor booths of clothing, jewelry, art, painting, nutrition, health care, service organizations, and food engaged the audiences with shopping and eating while enjoying the Diwali Dhamaka programs. IAB members decorated the main Gazebo in the Burlington Town Common with deities and colorful puppets that highlighted the Navaratri and Diwali theme. Rangoli, the floor painting with colored powders by young girls were encouraged and appreciated by giving them token of appreciation. Ms. Gini Pookattil, IAB president thanked all the spectators and all the participating groups for their active participation and showcasing their talents, and all the vendors for bringing their unique items, information, and services to the community. She thanked all the dignitaries and other invitees for gracing the event with their pleasant presence. She thanked the EMCEEs of the event Ms.Tanu Basu, (IAB Director) and Somya Saxena for their wonderful presentation of all the items on the stage. She also thanked all the volunteers for dedicating their time and service to the success of the event and making it a memorable to everyone.



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