St Louis Bal Vihar, Arts Museum celebrate India Day


ST LOUIS: St Louis Arts Museum (SLAM) has been showcasing “Passport To India” for the last five years and Bal Vihar of St Louis has been an integral part of it. On August 18, both organizations came together again to celebrate India’s 73rd Independence Day and showcased highlights of Indian culture.

The event started off with flag hoisting and Bal Vihar students singing American and Indian national anthems. SLAM was filled with more than 300 visitors curious to know and experience India’s culture and heritage. After the flag hoisting, Bal Vihar president Dr Sudhir Brahmbhatt spoke about the Independence day of India. He also shared the major advances made by India in many areas and its influence across the world. A Bal Vihar student played the patriotic Indian song “Vande Mataram” on violin.BAL Dandia

Bal Vihar performers then showcased India’s heritage in front of a large audience. Younger students kicked off the cultural performance with a dance, followed by a yoga session held by Bal Vihar parents and students. Adults and children from the audience also joined the yoga session as they learned and exercised various postures. A performance of traditional Indian folk dance “Dandia ” from the Indian state of Gujarat by Bal Vihar parents was applauded by those present. Later. adults in attendance joined the performers to experience the dance.

Bal Vihar volunteers also showcased the traditional arts and culture of India. This included visitors having an opportunity to try mehndi, the art of applying temporary henna tattoos on hand.

Balvihar 3Also at display were various arts, crafts and other artefacts from various parts of India. Visitors could also learn how to write their name in the Indian script of Devanagari. There was a photo-op for visitors to try on Indian clothing and take some pictures. SLAM was filled with bright-coloured costumes and other artefacts. Young visitors were specially catered for through the coloring station and explanation of India’s heritage for the curious minds.

Bal Vihar, the centre for Indian cultural education, is a non-profit organization, and since its inception in 1992, has been serving the Metro St Louis Indian community.