Continuing its string of impressive online programs during this pandemic era Hindi Club of Illinois (HCI) celebrated Hindi Divas 2021 on Saturday, September 25 with lots of gusto and enthusiasm. This Zoom event attracted well-known celebrities from India and contestants from across the USA.
The event opened with a HCI video showcasing its history and main objectives. Secretary, Vijay Chopra welcomed the dignitaries, contestants and online Facebook viewers. After the traditional lamp lighting by Acharya Rohit Joshi the program started with a traditional Saraswati Vandana recital by Shweta Srivastav, a well-known dancer from India. The event was skillfully anchored by HCI members Dr. Nisha Pandya and Shikha Mehta. Introductions of Chief Guest and Special Guests and presentations by contestants were elegantly interspersed with meaningful commentary and poetic couplets by both the emcees making the entire program even more interesting.
Chief guest Sh Birender K Yadav, President of Antarrashtriya Hindi Parishad, also an original force behind establishing World Hindi Divas, spoke eloquently about history, challenges and opportunities for Hindi. He rightly pointed out that adaption of Hindi as our National Language needs to progress at a greater speed. He further implored all connected with Hindi to move more aggressively from resolutions to activism and help spread it among Indian diaspora with a greater sense of urgency.
HCI lifetime member Pratibha Phadke introduced Special guest, Ruhan Kapoor, a well-known Bollywood singer and son of famed singer, Mahendra Kapoor. In his comments Ruhan Kapoor also encouraged all to continue to make progress in a push to make Hindi India’s National Language. He reiterated grass roots efforts that involve everyone. His ad lib singing of some of his late father’s songs revived fond memories of the golden era of Bollywood music. He also sang songs with patriotic theme commemorating the Amrit Mahotsav, 75th Independence year for India.
At the mid point HCI Founder and President Gurbachan Kaur Neelam shared more background about the HCI and welcomed the contestants and dignitaries to this annual event. She also introduced a special song video about the Hindi language. It was the USA launch of this special video created by well-known artists in Mumbai and was sponsored by HCI, a milestone for the club. Sh Birender K Yadav also introduced the team and talent involved in this special video.
Second half of the event started with a young girl, with only six months of online Hindi coaching with HCI, reading her short essay about India’s Independence Day. It was quite impressive and heartwarming to hear a dedicated student’s grasp of a new language.
In the competitive part of the event kids and adults from various parts of the USA performed and competed in various events trying to outdo each other in usage of and expression in Hindi in various categories. Each contestant was judged by a team of judges selected with their knowledge and expertise in specific category. After the competitive events all the judges were introduced by category. Judges also announced the top three winners in each category.
In closing this remarkable and entertaining event Gurbachan Kaur thanked honorable guests, sponsors of the awards, all the great contestants, the vital technical support of Anurag Awasthi and Puneet Chhibber and expert compering by Nisha Pandya and Shikha Mehta.
HCI will host its next online event on October 2, 2021 to honor Mahatma Gandhi under whose leadership Hindi was proclaimed as National Language in 1949. Please watch our home page www.hindiclub.org or our Facebook page /HindiClubIL for details for this or future events.