St. Louis community celebrates India’s I-Day

IAS committee: Hema Patel, Gayatri Chintakunta, Pradip Das,
Sundar Varanasi (IAS president) , Girija Kasinadhuni

ST LOUIS: Celebrating India’s national historical events has become a tradition with the Indian community in the greater St. Louis region since the inception of the India Association of St. Louis (IAS) in 1968.
This year too, IAS successfully hosted Independence Day event at the Mahatma Gandhi Cultural Center (MGC) on Sunday, August 11, celebrating India’s 65 years of independence.
The program started at 11 am with the Director of Intergovernmental affairs, Tom Curran, the Chief Guest of the event, hoisting the American Flag, followed by hoisting of Indian national flag by IAS President, Sundar Varanasi. As the flags were raised, American and Indian national anthems were sung by all present.
Curran in his keynote address drew historical parallel between India and the USA and mentioned that St Louis has a very diverse culture and has always welcomed Immigrants. He also appreciated the key contributions from the immigrant Indian community.
Curran then inaugurated a colorful fair (Mela) with more than 15 stalls where prominent businesses and local families and volunteers displayed a variety of Indian food delicacies, jewelries, sarees, dresses, and arts and crafts from different parts of India. Drawing, essay-writing and math competitions for children, and flower-arrangement competitions for adults were conducted during the Mela. Winners of these competitions were awarded certificates of merit and gift-cards sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance.
A colorful and vibrant cultural program was the grand-finale of the Independence Day celebrations. More than a hundred performers ranging from children to adults, professional artists to amateurs participated with patriotic, classical and folk themed cultural dances and presentations. The program was attended by about two hundred members of the community for two hours. Renowned dance-schools from the region as well as upcoming choreographers contributed to the cultural program. The day ended with a heart-warming rendition of Indian national anthem by all present at the event.

Ashwin Patel

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