Joint Indo-Pak I-Day celebrations by kids

web50CHICAGO: It was celebration of India Day with a difference at Indo American Center (IAC), a no profit social organization in Chicago.
This celebration was the mark of a new era of the combined celebration of the Indian and Pakistani Independence Days on August 9. Interestingly, it was not to raise funds, but a genuine tribute to the native lands of India and Pakistan and was highlighted with a performance by the students of the “Family Literacy Summer Program” between the ages of 5 through 12 years of age.
Ms. Ruth Kaushal, who has taken up a temporary assignment with IAC as the literacy coordinator for children ages 9-12 years, came up with the concept of putting up a show that touched upon the two countries India and Pakistan celebrating their Independence Days respectively. The program was produced and directed by Ms. Ruth with three performers assisting her choreograph the dances.
The stage was handsomely decorated with saris along with the Indian, Pakistani and American flags which were hung as a backdrop. The program opened with a speech by Ms. Ruth who called Jay Luthra the executive director of IAC on the stage. He thanked the staff and the audience and spoke briefly about the inception of the literacy program.
The start was with the singing of Indian National Anthem “Jana Gana Mana” followed by the Pakistani National Anthem “Pak Sarzamin”, and to ice up the cake the “Star Spangled Banner” was performed by more than thirty children all dressed in white.
The two patriotic songs, “Nana Munah Rahi” and “Sare Jahan Se Accha” was performed by all the kids that had the audience thumping their feet and one could hear the golden generation humming to those tunes.
At the same time one cannot forget that being in America, the 5-8 year olds Khush Patel, Shelly, Kelly, Anza and Laiba Khalid, Waniya, Fatima Zafer and Meghna Sharma performed to the English tune of “All I really need” conducted by Anne Masrden, the literacy coordinator for the 5-8 year old children. The song “Mere Desh Ki Dharti” of the patriotic movie “Upkar” of Manoj Kumar was sung solo by Urja Patel, a 9 year old girl. Mariyam Idress, Khadija Latif, Hayqa Idress performed “Dil, Dil Pakistan.”
The opener for the transition into the Bollywood dances started with the famous song “I love my India” and “Oodhni” was followed by “Hawa Hawa” choreographed by Dinah Kaushal. Another Bollywood hit tune “Dinka Chicka” turned out to be a hilarious act as the performers wore sun glasses and made funny expressions and moves.
Jasmine Kaur and Shiva Adikhari danced to the tune of “Shoobi Doobi” who also performed on the golden oldie “Jaahan Dal Dal Pe. Karuna increased the tempo of the show by dancing to the famous dance “Do La Re Dola” that comes from the movie “Devdas”. Maimuna Syeda Zafar and Mohammad Latif gave a brief history that led to the Independence of India and Pakistan respectively.
Another number “Anarkali Disco Chali” was performed by 7 year old Meghna Sharma. Fatima Khalid chanted the poem, “Soni Dharti.” “Chodo Kal Ki Baatein” rocked the audience bringing a patriotic aroma in air. The grand finale was, “Mere Desh Ki Dharti” which the audience seemed to enjoy immensely.
In closing, Ms. Ruth thanked the volunteers. A large number of seniors, parents and grandparents expressed their satisfaction on all the performances and the patriotic theme that they enjoyed to the fullest.

Surendra Ullal
India Post News Service

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