Boyd Community Center Celebrated India

 Jennifer Schaupp, Program Director   e-mail:
Boyd Community Center
1220 Powers Run Road, Pittsburgh, PA  15238
412-828-8566 x24  

On Sunday, March 21, the Boyd Community Center in O’Hara Township hosted its second celebration of Indian culture with a wide variety of activities. Thanks to the support and planning efforts of diverse community volunteers and Boyd staff, the event showcased the beauty of Indian arts and traditions and raised money for the Center. 

The event kicked off with a film talk and screening of If It Ain’t Broke, Break It by Pittsburgh filmmaker Dr. Ravi Godse. The evening continued with yoga, breathing, and meditation demonstrations from community members and Boyd instructors, including Moni Wesner, Krishan Aggarwal, and Anjana Vijayvargiya.

The lineup of dancing and music began with the Kuchipudi dances of Kamala Reddy and her students and followed with the Bollywood and Bhangra inspired dances of Ruby Jain (also the emcee of the event) and her students. Then followed the Bharatanatyam and folk dances and music performances of Sanskruti School of Indian Dance and Music, and the Bhangra moves of Shivum Bharill.

The festivities continued with a song from Darshana Menon, musical instrument performances by Shivum Bharill and Sameer Kumar, the lively steps of Steel City Bhangra, and the classical, folk, and contemporary dances from Nandanik Dance Academy. And the culminating dance moment that brought people to their feet was Ruby Jain’s audience participation number!

Amidst the music and dance was a pleasing addition this year – the “how to wear a sari” demonstration and the sari and Indian garment sale, led by Vandana Kekre.

Throughout the Celebrate India event, the visitors enjoyed the delicious chicken and vegetable curry dishes from Taj Mahal Restaurant and the sweet treats and fruits from community member and cook Sajeda Kamal.

People could also purchase stunning jewelry from Harshita Gurnani, view slides from a Boyd staff member’s trip to India, and peruse Indian themed library books and a literary journal, a magazine, and a children’s book, all by Indian authors and editors. Children found enjoyment in the button making activity, led by Boyd’s after school instructor Alison Zapata and student Amelia Porter Bacon, and also the henna tattoos of Indu Aggarwal and family and Hindi name art with Sunder Kekre.

To add to the ambience of the event, Mahendra Shah displayed his famous cartoons, and Indian tapestries and posters of famous Bollywood actors hung on the walls of the Boyd gymnasium. Finally, the night ended with the raffling of names for assorted donated items, including tickets to Dr. Ravi’s film, a sari, a pendant, and a fresh fruit basket.

The publicizing efforts of The Pittsburgh Patrika and Deepali Zende of WRCT’s “Bombay in My Soul,” among others, helped spread the word and make successful Boyd’s Celebrate India event.

I welcome interested community members to contact me at 412-828-8566 x24 if they want to assist with the planning of next year’s India celebration.

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