ISA celebrates India Night ’04

Celebration filled the air Saturday night in the Union Ballroom during the Indian Students Association’s India Night ’04.

As Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, falls on Nov. 12, the ISA annually celebrates around this time of year in order to bring those in the community together to celebrate culture, tradition, and one of India’s biggest festivals.

“This event is important because it’s an annual celebration of Diwali, a New Year celebration,” said ISA Adviser Maulik Shah. “It’s an opportunity for the community at the U to come together and for people to get to know the culture.”

The ballroom was packed and Hindi resonated in the room.

“Most Indian students at the U are far from home,” said Aparna Nori, one of the masters of ceremonies for the event. India Night is a way for the community at the U to come together and celebrate, to feel closer to home and their culture, she continued.

It was a culturally filled evening of dancing, music, skits, food, and presentations. The dancing included classical and modern movements, some incorporated a little of both. The graceful moves of Indian dance were met with the vibrant colors of traditional costume and the distinguishing tones of Indian song.

“Dance and music are a big part of our culture, especially during festivals,” said Mudit Kakar, the evening’s other master of ceremonies.

Dinner was served halfway through the evening and consisted of vegetable masala and vegetable kuruma, accompanied by naan and gulab jaman, traditional Northern Indian food. While the names of these dishes are foreign to many in the western part of the world, they were the staple at the U on this particular evening and their distinct aroma permeated the grounds.

The evening’s highlight was a fashion show titled, “Dawn till Dusk.” It portrayed a variety of clothing that would be worn throughout the day for different occasions. Models choreographically took the runway with Indian dress for religious ceremonies, the work place and casual atmospheres. Colorful Indian gowns dominated the stage, but Western-like, modern attire was strategically incorporated into the show as well.

The night finished with more dancing, music and show.

[email protected]