United Punjabis celebrate a joyous Baisakhi

The United Punjabis of America team
The United Punjabis of America team

CHICAGO: Colorful Bhangras and Giddas, vintage Punjabi folk songs and the beat of the Dhol highlighted the Baisakhi celebration hosted by United Punjabis of America (UPA) recently at Cascade Banquets in Bensenville, a northside suburb of Chicago
The evening was remarkable for its cross-generational appeal, the little kids enjoying learning about Punjabi heritage and culture through arts and crafts and the adults having a chance to network and sing and dance. The activities for the kids were well planned while Rupa Puranik, a henna artist, was kept busy by a steady stream of women interested in having mehndi applied to their hands.

Pratibha Jairath, UPA vice president and Shammi Mittal UPA Events Coordinator, served as the MCs entertaining all those present with their shayris and lively introductions.

Madhu Uppal, a UPA Board Member introduced the guest of honor, Dr Pramod Vohra, the Dean, Northern Illinois School of Engineering and Engineering Technology. Dr Vohra shared his belief in the value of education and he shared his passion for Punjabi music by singing two popular old Punajbi songs: ‘ik meri akh kashni’ and ‘chan kitha guzari aye raat way’. Madhu Kohli entertained the audience with “lathe di chadar’.

Shalabh Kumar, a successful entrepreneur and community activist, spoke about the importance of civic involvement and urged those present to take advantage of the many upcoming opportunities to meet with political leaders.

In his welcome address, Manohar Sharma, the president of UPA, pointed out the unique nature of the organization and the enthusiasm of its officers in celebrating the rich history and culture of Punjabis. Dharam Punwani, a Trustee, introduced the UPA Board of Trustees and the members of the Executive Committee.

This was followed by magnificent dances from the artists of Nach Le Mayuri Dance Company who performed Bhangras and Giddas. As Pratibha Jairath and Raju started singing, the dance floor quickly filled up with the young and old dancing side by side. The party lasted well into the midnight and left everyone looking ahead to the next UPA event.

Asian Media USA

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