Pittsburgh’s Silk Screen’s 5th Annual Gala

By Geetika Tandon, Murrysville, PA

Geetika Tandon with WTAE anchor Sally Wiggin.

Geetika was born and raised in Delhi, where she was a kindergarten teacher. She came to US in 1995 after getting married and moved to Pittsburgh in 1996. With her 13-year old daughter  Sunaina and 10-year old son Sachit, Geetika also runs two businesses Minuteman Press in Plum and Highflyer Bungee at Pittsburgh Mills Mall. She likes to listen to music, cook and spend time with my friends and family.

Pittsburgh is not the first US city that comes to mind when one thinks of Asian cultural diversity even though Pittsburgh has many ethnic groups from Asia. One of the great events that highlights this diversity and draws attention and awareness of Asian culture in the Pittsburgh region is the annual Silk Screen Festival, founded in 2006 by filmmaker and artist Harish Saluja. The festival celebrates Asian culture and gives Pittsburghers an opportunity to enjoy the rich cultural cornucopia of Asia. The festival also highlights the ethnic diversity of the region, which is a source of its great strength.

This year the Silk Screen Festival 2010 kicked off with the opening night film Cooking With Stella, followed by the Silk Screen Red Carpet Gala hosted on Friday, May 7, 2010 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. 

The gala was a vibrant and beautiful cultural evening made possible by the hard work of its Executive Director Harish Saluja, operations manager Katie Jones, film programming director John Rice, members of Silk Screen organization and many volunteers.

The Silk Screen gala evening was full of entertainment featuring performances from across Asia. There was Tadashi Kato’s Japanese contemporary dance, Akshay Hari’s Bollywood song, Middle Eastern belly dance, little girls’ Tibetan Dance, and a depiction of Chinese Dragons in dance. And of course, the Indian Bhangra.

Ruby Jain (third from left) with her students at the Gala.

WTAE’s anchor Sally Wiggin, as the  emcee kept the event moving without letting it sag even for moment.

People having a good time at the gala were as diverse as the performers — people from India, China, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, and Mainstream America. Also present were the director of movie Bombay Summer Joseph Mathew Varghese and the main actor Samrat Chakrabarti.

I must say this gala was a showcase of international fashion with people wearing authentic clothes and beautiful jewelry.  This gave us all a chance to see what’s new in fashion this season throughout Asia. 

What can I say about the food!! It was diverse and delicious. The various ethnic restaurants of the region such as Indian Garden and Taj Mahal had their food stalls for people to feast on. There was a lot to choose from. Middle Eastern preparations — hummus and baba ganoush from Istambul Grill – was super. The Japanese food prepared and served by Ai Kato, one of the volunteers who moved here from Japan last year, was excellent.

The Sri Lankan Community coordinator Ransie Ratnatunga wanted to convey a very special thanks to The Silk Screen organization for making Sri Lankan film a part of this festival. She wishes a great success for 2010 festival and many more to come.

Fun did not end with cultural program and food. The night continued on for two hours with an open dance floor with very upbeat and fun music.  If you missed it this year, be sure to check it out next year. For more information, please check out the website silkscreenfestival.org.

  1. No comments yet.

You must be logged in to post a comment.