The Asian Student Association (ASA) presented a celebration of the Festival of Lights in the PUB on Oct. 27. They invited the NYC Bhangra Dance Company, a group specializing in Southeast Asian dances, to perform many different styles of dance.
The Festival of Lights, which is also called Diwali, is a Hindu celebration of the triumph of good over evil. It is a five day celebration that dates back thousands of years. Anastasiia Iarygina, the secretary of ASA said, “This holiday is the biggest in India and also one of the most fun to celebrate.”
The NYC Bhangra Dance Company performed eight dances that mixed in classical, semi-classical, modern Bollywood, a Bollywood pop fusion hybrid, Gidda a traditional Punjab dance and bhangra. The largest event that this group hosts and organize is Holi in New York City, which is the Festival of Colors. To find out more about this event you can visit nycholi.com.
Megha Kalia, the lead choreographer for the company said, “I think every culture offers its own uniqueness, whether it’s the food, music or dances. When you immerse yourself in another culture you transform into somebody that you did not know, and when you see yourself transformed in a manner that is absolutely enriching and enlightening life becomes more meaningful.” Indian dances are explosive and joyful because bhangra, which is Indian for celebration is meant to be happy. The NYC Bhangra Dance Company looks forward to coming back for Diwali next year.
ASA puts together many programs that are about exposing students to many different cultures which are not restricted to Asia. They work together with the International Student Association at Lock Haven to incorporate as many cultures as they can. They also work with Avenue 209 to celebrate diversity. They plan on having a Chinese Thanksgiving late this year. Students who wish to get involved or receive information about ASA can email Aminesh Chavan, the president of ASA, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Chavan says, “ASA is a great program to meet people both from the US and from other countries. It is a great extracurricular to add to a resume, especially because a lot of the officers are seniors so they will be replacing positions at President, Vice President and Secretary.”
For more information about the Dance Group check out their facebook page, and website at nycbhangra.com/nycbhangra/