Burlington Indians enjoy Diwali festival

Diwali lamp making

Geetha Patil

BURLINGTON, MA:  Indian Americans for Burlington (IAB) held their annual Diwali festivity gathering on Sunday, September 30 at the Burlington Commons. Hundreds of Indian Americans from the surrounding cities with their children and friends gathered to enjoy the festivity. The venue became lively with the large gathering that exhibited Indian traditional colorful consumes and gorgeous decoration. There were Rangoli competitions, several foods, cultural display and children fun activities’ tables, jewelry and costumes booths to shop, and much more.

IAB President Smt Menka Jethra welcomed all the spectators, participants and children to the event. She introduced IAB executive members and other dedicated members and Emcee who worked very hard to put it together. The program started with invocation to Goddess Lakshmi by singing melodious Lakshmi Stuti and Bhajans.

The second part of the program began with the cultural package. Young girls performed a stunning Pongal Karagattam – a harvest folk dance with a pot on their head that is decorated with flowers and a plastic parrot on the top. Tuneful music added lively spirit to their dazzling moves. Next came the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva symbolizing the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction as well as births and deaths followed by an energetic Bollywood Holi (the festival of colors) dance.

Later, Shree Krishna Katha was narrated through popular mellow songs medley and little children danced to the songs and showcased their talents. Kerala ladies performed their famous Thiruvathir\Onam dance and Sindhi ladies exhibited their beautiful traditional peacock dance. Many more gorgeous dances were performed which entertained the spectators.

IAB Rangoli drawing

Introduction of guests and community awards was held and the president said that one goal of the event is to bring Burlington’s Indian and non-Indian populations together for a shared celebration and participate actively in the civic, charitable and educational programs of the community. IAB had set up special information and membership booths along with upcoming election registration. After this, Vithal Dindi, Baisakhi plus Holi programs presented the famous march of the pilgrims/devotees, rejoicing of harvest and colors respectively. Maha Kali dance represented the benevolence of the wholesome. The grand final item of the celebration was Navaratri Garba dance which conveys eternal love and togetherness.

There were several booths that arranged fun activities for young ladies and children. Rangoli competitions were held to show the ladies curiosity in our traditional colorful Rangoli drawings and filling them with colors. Children workshops taught them how to make clay Ganesha and colorful Diwali paper lamps. One of the participants said, “We come to this event because people are so friendly and our kids enjoy/play in garden and participate in the workshops and learn how to make artifacts and get some goodies to take home. We all enjoy the good food especially Nirvana Indian cousin. We have an incredible experience here.”