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Generation Desis Celebrate Holi

Jeet Shahani

On March 18th, GenerationDesi.com hosted a fun "Holi Hai! Fair" for the whole family from 12-4pm. Holi Hai! meaning "It is Holi!" was chosen by GenerationDesi.com as it is the most commonly used term in India to greet people when throwing colors. This day event was set to a mela feel with people trickling in at 12:00 pm. People visited various booths and ate Indian traditional cuisines early on. Various booths ranged from henna tattoos, trendy Indian-inspired dresses, shoes and fashionable jewelery for the ladies to booths for kids like face painting and game booths. Quite a few organizations were represented at the fair which included Art of Living, ASHA-Boston, Next Generation Foundation, United India Association and LearnQuest. There were several local business booths as well involving Bank of America, GMAC Mortgage and the Gold Sponsor for the Holi Hai! Fair, Hammond Real Estate in Chestnut Hill.

The booklets handed out at the entrance set the fun Holi color theme in pink, blue, yellow and purple colors. The food was catered by Dakshin ranging from Indo-Chinese, North Indian including the popular Chole Batura and South Indian foods from 12pm to 3pm. The first part of the event was live performances by local artists who performed various popular Bollywood and folk numbers heard over so many generations and Bhangra & Garba dances. The first performance was a Bharatnatyam dance number by the talented Kripi Ragunathan. This was followed by Sheena Thakkar dancing to a Bollowood number- "Naach Baliye ". Pinki and Preeti Sharma from Newton perfomred next to the Bhangra number- "Aaja Ni Aaja Tenu Nachna". There was a debutant performance by Chirantan & Rupayan Neogy brothers who did their first ever Bhangra number " Jine mera dil lutia " live in front of a big crowd. They recieved a great response and lots of encouragement for this first ever performance. Then Kum Kum Dilwali and her troupe did a wonderful job singing upbeat folk numbers like " Mast Kalandar". The fun dance events continued with a Bhangra performance from Punjab Ki Heeriyan (Sonam Dilwali, Achint Chani, Harsheen Kaur, Jasleen Kaur). A vibrant singing performance set perfect to the mood of Holi by Sanjeev & Archana Sharma. Everyone enjoyed the ever popular " Rang Barse" and "Jai Jai Shiv Shankar" . The last number was a dance performed by Megha Agarwal who performed to the ever so popular "Kajra Re".

Following the live performances, the floor was opened up to Dandiya. Some people visited the different booths while others danced to the Gujrati & Hindi songs to the beats of Dandiya sitcks. At around 3:30pm, a few people moved outside to play with Holi colors and enjoy live DJ and Dhol! Various Holi themed and popular hindi songs were played. The crowd started slowly growing outside with people making new friends and various colors being thrown from the spectrum-red, orange,green, blue being pasted on faces and clothes. The Dandiya and the booths remained open for the people inside. Over 400 people turned up for the Hol Hai! Fair. As Annapoorna Rajan from Worcester said later about the event, " We have decided that we will be playing it every year now, with you guys! I could go on and on about how all our other friends were jealous when they saw our pics with our colored faces! But to put it briefly, you brought India to us, and drove away some of the homesickness/nostalgia that had cast a shadow on us on the day of Holi. " Poetically as the name of the event, the day ended with everyone shouting Holi Hai! to one other.

GenerationDesi.com plans to hold a Baisakhi Kickoff Party next on April 21st to celebrate Baisakhi with foot tapping Bhangra/Bollwood music. To see more details or picture of Holi Hai! Fair and other past events, go to http://www.GenerationDesi.com.

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