Chicago: The Hindi Club of Illinois celebrated its Ninth Annual Hindi Divas September 14 at Wentz Concert Hall in Naperville, a Chicago Suburb. This was the day when Hindi was declared the national language of India in 1949.
Steve Chirico, Mayor of Naperville, and Indian Consul Ranjit Singh were guests of honor. In attendance were also prominent figures from Chicagoland including Prerna Arya from Indian Consulate, Sunil Shah of FIA, Nimish Jani, trustee of Schaumburg township, Amit Jingran, CEO of State Bank of India, Dhemchan Sharma and Gurmeet Singh among others.
The dignitaries were invited to the stage along with the board of directors of Hindi Club of Illinois. The invited guests performed the lamp lighting ceremony which was followed by singing of the American and Indian national anthems.
Hindi club has started a new tradition to honor a person for his or her dedication to Hindi. Santosh Kumar was chosen this year and was presented a flower bouquet by Ranjit Singh, a shawl by treasurer Mita Shewakramani presented the shawl and the plaque and a check for her organization by president Gurbachan Kaur.
The cultural program had kids competing in elocution, singing, solo dance, group dance and fancy dance among other contests.
Skits “WhatsApp par Bapu” and “Parasper Prem” by the Club kids, Nittanjali by Nrithya Sangeet Academy and songs by Vijay D. and Mukesh Shah were highlights of the cultural program.
The program ended with prize distribution by Khemchand Sharma and vote of thanks by the club secretary Anica Dubey.
On this occasion, Hindi Club also published a souvenir book with poems by Rakesh Malhotra, Sanjay Sharma, Ram Gupta, Madhu Rohtagi, Anica Dubey, and Ashok Luv.
Hindi Club of Illinois was founded by Gurbachan Kaur Shewakramani in 2010 and celebrated its first Hindi Divas in 2011. It encourages the kids and adults alike to participate in ethnic dances, songs, and essay competitions.
In addition to the annual event, it also has free weekly Hindi classes for kids and adults, organizes Hindi poetry group and invites Hindi speakers and entertainers to encourage Indians to attend and enjoy the language.
Pic courtesy Ashwini Kumar and DevVasudevan India Post