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IANH Spring Festival – A Colorful Panorama

Mahima Balaraj

The India Association of New Hampshire (IANH) held its annual Spring Festival on Saturday, May 30th, 2009 at Nashua High School North. Around 700 people attended this grand event which reiterated the importance of Public Service and provided a showcase for various items of dance, music, delicious food, colorful Indian garments, crafts, jewelry, and much more.
The President of IANH, Mr. Prithvi Kumar welcomed the gathering. He praised the Youth group and all the volunteers for their commitment towards IANH, and talked about the importance of public service. Mr. Kumar told audience members that ‘little things go a long way” and encouraged everyone to participate in the community.

The cultural program -- a highlight of the evening   was a vivid combination of classical traditional and modern dance and music, including more than 50 performances .Ms. Amritha Mangalat and Ms. Priti Sadhir made lively Master of Ceremonies for the evening.

Mr. Chetan Chaudari, The Coordinator for IANH Bhutanese Refugees Empowerment Project talked about IANH continues to be strong on the public service front saying “Public service is an integral part of IANH and that it “gives us tremendous pleasure serving so many people”.  He called volunteering “rewarding” and called upon on all audience members to become a part of giving back.

Mr. Nagendra Bhanu the chairperson of the IANH education committee spoke briefly about the North South Foundation Contest and how the mission of these contests is to ”promote awareness in kids and to provide an opportunity to develop such skills to be successful in life”

Mr. Manoj Chourasia, the chairperson of the IANH Public Relations committee introduced the Mayor of Nashua, Donnalee Lozeau to address the audience and to distribute the prizes to the New Hampshire winners of the Education Bee 2009. “I really believe very strongly in public service and how important that is to our community” Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said. She stressed the importance of volunteering and praised the Indian American community for exalting those virtues and striking the perfect balance between dance, music art, education and public service.

Representative Paul Hodes who was also a honorable guest at the event, praised the IANH saying it is a “vital part of New Hampshire culture”. Mr. Hodes stressed friendship between India and the United States, and talked about a foreign policy bill he is helping to pass to further humanitarian efforts and aid in developing countries, including India. He said he was committed to reaching out to the Indian community and listening to our views to help “build a brighter community in New Hampshire.”
The  Consul General of India, New York , Ambassador Prabhu Dayal, talked about “building bridges with the two greatest democracies in the world- India and America.”

Ms. Deepa Mangalat, IANH Youth Group Activities coordinator, requested young adolescents to join Youth Group, and become involved in IANH events. She gave a brief overview of Youth Group, and described previous projects done by them, such as the widely successful “Naach Night.”

IANH Cultural Activities Coordinator, Ms. Usha Dwarkanath thanked audience members for attending the event. She said the committee was looking for “fresh ideas, fresh perspectives”, and that “little drops of water join together to make a big ocean”, and encouraged people to participate in IANH events.
Ms. Chandana Srinivasan concluded the evening events with a vote of thanks. This was followed by the audience rising, to the Indian and American National Anthems.


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