Thirty One years that’s how long we’ve been hosting India day at India Society of Worcester or ISW. What started back in 1989 in the halls of Worcester auditorium, no one could have imagined that one day it would be streaming live from someone’s home office, being watched by hundreds of people on their devices, enjoying amazing dancers perform in their living rooms, backyards, parks or sometime on the roads. The year 2020 has shown us a new normal, in which ISW has broken all barriers to bring to the community not 1 or 2 but multiple live online events from Antakshri to art night to yoga and now a 3 day, 5 session virtual India Day event . So once again from bottom of my heart thank you to all my fellow ISWers who made this event possible & to all the dancers, singers and teachers, to our community and above all to all of you the audience who boost our spirits by liking, sharing and commenting on our posts and videos and encouraging us to make ISW a home away from home for many of us. So with that I invite you to Please watch all the videos we are sharing in this special edition and share, comment and like us on FB. Happy Independence Day Jai Hind...... Puneet Kohli (VP ISW, Chair India Day)
India Day Session Highlights
Opening Session - Friday, August 7th
The theme for ISW India Day 2020 was Navarasa or the nine emotions in dance. The session opened with a Ganesha Vandana and followed with dances embodying Shringar, Shanta, and Bhayanak Rasas expressed in Bollywood, Khatak, Odissi and other dance styles. A special treat was the Best Dress Contest to raise funds for Covid-19 Relief. Check out the video on facebook
Saturday, August 8th - Afternoon Session
The fun continued on Saturday with dances that took you across India expressing a range of emotions, from tender love to a sense of wonderment, from courage to joy and laughter. The dances highlighted the range of talent and the diverse regions within the country. Check out the live video on facebook
Saturday, August 8th - Evening Session
The evening session included a collage of dances by talented choreographers from across New England. with productions in a range of styles from classical, hiphop, folk, Bollywood and a lot more. The surprise item was a special treat from the ISW Cultural Group. You don't want to miss that, click on the video link to find out.
Sunday, August 9th - Afternoon Session
Melodies and dances for every age and dances from all the corners of India filled the afternoon. Our Navarasa theme came to life by the talented choreographers. From energetic tiny tots, to graceful ladies, these performances were sure to keep you engaged. Take a look at the session in the video
Sunday August 9th - Closing Session
The celebration of India Day closed with a finale of dances that included retrospective dances from prior India Days in addition to fresh new performances. The winners of the Best Dress Competition were announced with an appearance by Mrs. India New England 2020. We hope you enjoyed this recap of the India Day and it gave you a chance to catch up in case you missed anything. Check out the video on facebook.
National Anthem Singers
By Shiamin Melville
When ISW school is in session, we begin with a rendition of both the Indian and US National Anthems, and every year for India Day celebrations the ISW Cultural and Language School students and teachers inaugurate the event with both the national anthems. This year we were fortunate to do the same for our virtual India Day 2020 with ten separate videos for each of our 5 virtual sessions
Thanks to the following singers of Indian National Anthem
Thanks to the following singers of US National Anthem
Thank you to Shivangi , who put two videos together.
The Great Bollywood Movie Quiz – Lockdown Edition
"Relive old classics...recollect old memories...relax yourself". That was the theme of the Bollywood Quiz event as part of the ISW India Day celebrations. A passionate and very knowledgeable group of contestants made it a fun and engaging event. Click on the video link to join the fun and find out who were the winners.
Panel on '"Racial Solidarity as South Asians"
As part of India Day, a committee of young adults hosted a panel discussion on '"Racial Solidarity as South Asians". The group, called SAYAAA, are part of the second generation of ISW community members who on their own have raised their voices by organizing vigils, posting on FB and hosting podcasts and writing articles. They discussed how they educated themselves, strategies to combat racism and how to get more involved in the future. Click here to read more about the session, watch the panel video and take the survey if your would like to learn more and join.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is upon us, many are grappled by the fear of losing a job and finding a new one. In the past six months, a whopping 40 million have lost jobs and claimed benefits from the government. Even though the future looks bleak, experts believe that there is hope for everyone. At the virtual India Day organized by India Society of Worcester, six experts from various walks of life sat together to discuss what to expect, what to change, and how to approach a professional journey during COVID times.
After 3 years of discussion, the first India Day Festival was held at the Worcester Auditorium in 1989. It was so windy and rained so hard that the rain literally came down sideways. The Executive Committee took invitations and sent them out to all the politicians of Worcester and personal family and friends. We ended up having a good amount in attendance and decided the rain was a good luck charm for us. (Since that year, it has rained on most of our India Day celebrations!) Unfortunately, we had to pay a large amount for the rental and union charges and the parking was terrible so the following year we looked for a more suitable place.
For the next few years we held it at Holy Name High School in Worcester. The cost was much better and we had plenty of room. We also had a large parking lot. One year we even had Dr. Deepak Chopra as our guest speaker.
When ISW member, Dr. Kalyan Ghosh, became President of Worcester State University, he offered us use of the entire Student Center for the complete weekend. We paid a nominal fee and had use of his staff to help us with the setup. We were there for about 10 years until Dr. Ghosh retired.
Since the Student Center was no longer available to us, we were again on the move. The City of Worcester was celebrating a summer of Diversity and invited several organizations to set up cultural displays at the Italian Center at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church for a week, ending with a day of festivities...for us, India Day. From then on we continued to use the Italian Center for our yearly India Day Festival until 2015, the 26th India Day.
And as they say in bollywood movie continues....