Celebration of Hindu Heritage Day attracts thousands to Marlborough school

HHD award winners GEETHA PATIL

MARLBOROUGH, Massachusetts: Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA), an independent volunteer-based charitable organization serving the social, educational, cultural, and spiritual needs of the Indian community,  organized its 23rd Annual Hindu Heritage Day 2019 (HHD) event May 18  Charles W. Whitcomb Middle School, Marlborough, MA with hundreds of enthusiastic performers and thousands of community members  from the greater Boston area.

From the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Charles D. Baker, Governor, Karyn E. Polito, Lt. Governor, William Francis Galvin, Secretary, and the Mayor of Marlbororough proclaimed May 18 as Hindu Heritage Day and wished their best for its success. Sandeep Chakravorthy, Consul General of India in New York, also sent out his message for the success of the event.

A team of volunteers from VHPA have been organizing the HHD for the past 23 years to celebrate Indian heritage, diversity, Sanskrit, culture, traditions, arts and food.  The HHD, now, has taken the form of a tradition and a cultural phenomenon that celebrates rich Indian heritage and culture in a grand scale.

The chief guests of this year included Prahad KC, Consul General of Nepal,  Shutrughan Sinha, Deputy Consul General of India in New York. The theme for this year’s HHD was Aikyam or Ekta (Unity) which was aptly displayed by the cultural performances.

The HHD celebration seeks to enlighten others about its greatness and antiquity.The young and energetic masters of ceremony – Jaya Pandey, Kumar Jonjy Ananth, Kumar Arya Nagraj, and Kumari Anika Sharma – did a wonderful job of brief narratives In between the program. They provided information about the various organizations that are providing educational, spiritual, socio-cultural, arts, and music services in the community for grooming the second  generation.

The program started with Shankh Naad, Deep Prajwalan, Ekta Mantra and national anthems of India and the US by all the dignitaries of the event, Lochan Karthikeyan from Bedford sang a melodious Ganesh Vandanam.

On HHD stage, many well-known dance and music groups from all over New England area showcased their talents in Indian classical, folk, Bollywood music and dances and those that are special to their regions of India by presenting more than 35 wonderful items. Guest artist Mohan Subramaniam, a versatile and melodic singer, delighted the HHD music lovers by singing old beautiful Bollywood songs.. He is a professor at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and a well-known figure in the Indian Community.

HHD Lamp Lighing

Every year, the VHPA felicitates with its Sanskriti Saurabh Samman the prominent achievers, contributors and those who work towards preserving art and culture. This year, the VHPA presented its Distinguished Individual Award to Dr. Manju Sheth, MD, co-founder and CEO of INE Multimedia,  Distinguished Community Organization Award to Hindi Manch Team led by  Preetesh Shrivastava, Distinguished Social Service Award to Gunjan Radio Team led by  Bipin Parekh.

There was a fair with many local vendors selling Indian clothes jewelry, food including professionally-prepared traditional chai, laddus, pan, and other delicious items,Indian comic books, spiritual books, CDs of bhajans, meditational practices, and decorative items not easily available elsewhere.There were some information booths about Bal Vihars, retreats, camps, yoga centers, and other events taking place around Boston area.

Along with numerous cultural programs, many competitions were held for the youngsters and food preparation classes for women. Essay Writing Competition for youngsters included topics like “My favorite Hindu God”, “My favorite Indian leader/ideals”, “Unity (EKTA): The power of being together”, and “Laws of the Karma (Do our actions always bring expected results). An art/painting competition comprised the same topics of essay writing. There was kite flying for all ages besides carrom games, face painting and mehndi. Achar (pickle) making classes for women was interesting and it was helpful to know its health benefits.

The entire venue and the stage of the program was decorated very elegantly and smartly by Aneesa Karody and her team. A Consular Facilitation Camp with Brij Garg and Abhishek Singh from New York CKGS application center provided services like passport renewal application, conversion of PIO to OCI cards, new OCI cards, and tourist and business visas for India.

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