The weekend celebration of Indian’s 73rd Independence Day brought in an exceptional cultural showcase of the local talent and social camaraderie. The patriotic elements along with India’s cultural diversity were part of the exuberant celebrations which brought close to 500 community members to celebrate India’s 73rdIndependence Day.
The homegrown entertainers and performers with their diverse vibrant personalities, performances, and talent dazzled the attendees. The well-executed program, under the leadership of the newly elected President of Friends of India Mahendra Mehta, began on time with a patriotic parade with participants of all ages in a colorful medley of Indian costumes exhibiting diverse India. The parade was a reminiscence of the past freedom fighters along with the current elected political leaders of India, the world’s largest democracy.
The parade was followed by an hour–long traditional and Bollywood dance performances. India Palace provided a mix of delicious appetizers during the first hour of the program followed by the full dinner later in the evening.
After a social hour and some entertainment, the formal program started on a high note with Indian national anthem sung by Avisha Barot, followed by the American national anthem sung by Andrea Rose John. In his opening remarks, the club President Mahendra Mehta welcomed all the attendees and thanked his fellow executive committee members for their commitment and hard work to arrange the first event under his leadership. Mahendra was also thankful to all the table sponsors, vendors, volunteers and an anonymous donor to cover the deficit for the evening event. Past Presidents were recognized for their commitment to the Friends of India.
The local elected officials, Congressman Steven Horsford, Congresswoman Susie Lee, County Commissioner & Guest of Honor Richard Segerblom, County Commissioner Michael Naft, Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony and District Court Judge Richard Scotti graced the occasion with their presence and were seen meeting and socializing with the growing, professional and prosperous Indian community.
In his informal speech, the Chief Guest Commissioner Tick Segerblom thanked all the attendees for honoring him with the invite to meet the community members and how pleased he is with his long-time relationship with some of the members of the community.
The common theme for all the speakers was the diversity in Southern Nevada and were quick to recognize Friends of India for its’ contribution to enriching the local community by bringing the Indian cultural kaleidoscope to Southern Nevada. After honoring the invited guests with the personalized Friends of India satin ribbon sash, the evening entertainment continued with dances from different regions of India along with a patriotic play depicting religious tolerance despite ethnic, religious and linguistic disparities of India. Participants represented numerous regions across India. The performers from children, to adult, were dressed in perfectly custom-designed Indian outfits made for the occasion. The grand finale brought in all the women dancers on the stage to the beats of Slumdog Millionaires’ famous hit “JAI HO” with long uninterrupted applause from the attendees.
The next Friends of India event is scheduled for Saturday, October 26thto celebrate the much awaited Diwali.