Houston, Nov. 30. Bihar Association of North America (BANA) organized its annual ‘Cultural Carnival 2008’ at the new Stafford Center on November 30th, 2008. The event brought out the enormous talents of BANA members displayed to an audience of over 500 Houstonians, who were enthralled to a grand show of music, dance and drama.
The program started with the traditional lighting of the lamp. This was followed with the general body meeting of BANA where the current President, Dr. Madhusudan Choudhary and his executive committee welcomed the guests, fraternal organizations, sponsors, and most importantly all the participants of the program, who helped organize this magnificent event. Dr. Choudhary presented the Scholarship awards to Mr. Hrash Mishra and Mr. Aman Sharma; Activity awards to Mrs. Soni Mishra and Mr. Candeshwar Sharma; Lifetime Service award to Mr. Vijay Singh; an special award to Dr. V R P Sinha, and the BANA partnership award to Sewa International USA. BANA’s past president Mr. Yusuf Sultan introduced the incoming executive committee for 2009-2010 with Mr. Ravi Kant Choudhary as its President and other members of the incoming team, which included Mr. Arvind Mallik -Vice president, Mr. Sanjeet Rai -Secretary, Mr. Bijay Kumar Singh -Treasurer, and Mrs. Geetika Kamal, Mr. Ravi Ranjan, and Mr. Rishi Gohil as members. Mr. Ravi Choudhary thanked the individual sponsors and the business sponsors for the event which included Acutech Solutions, US Carpet & Floors, Metlife, Tara Energy, InsureUS, Continental Airlines, Fiesta and many individual sponsors.
The theme of the Cultural Carnival 2008 was ‘Let’s Explore India’. A group of five young girls, with the help of a fairy God-mother go on this magical journey to India along with the audience. They see and experience, often first-hand, the breath-taking variety of our rich tradition, culture and history, by being a part of the dance and the song.
The audience is mesmerized when they are reminded of our freedom fighters; of the lush green fields tended with love and care by the farmers; playful fun by the children in the classrooms; village belle prancing in their courtyards; lively Bhangra dance, colorful Koli dance and enticing Kathputli dance. Keeping pace with the dances were the thrilling Qauwalli, lively Holi song, a classical song and a medley of songs from a group of male and female singers all of them accompanied with live music on tabla, dholak, and keyboard. The other attraction of the evening was a fashion show of couples from various parts of India dressed in their finest long held traditional wedding outfits. Two short plays, both comedies, were performed: one depicting the plight of Vishnu bhagwan and Naarad Muni as they travel to planet Earth and try to help solve people’s daily problems; the other related to comic situations around a pet in a household. The cultural program culminated with a final group dance by teenage girls showing the importance of girl’s education in India which rightly echoes with BANA’s charity work in India towards girls education.
It was an entertaining evening with eager participation of enthusiastic members of BANA as well as the audience. The hard work and dedication of all who performed was well appreciated by those in attendance. Thanks to the BANA cultural committee and particularly to the coordinator Mr. Ravi Kant Choudhary for his great effort and tireless energy in producing such an outstanding cultural program.
The event ended with a raffle draw where winners were given Fiesta gift cards and Continental airlines tickets. While the BANA members bid adieu amid the frantic pace to leave by 6.30 PM in the cold breezy darkness of the night, everybody was carrying warm memories of the evening and a promise to meet again next year.
Ravi Kant Choudhary