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Consulate General of India, Chicago Hosts Kala Utsav as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav Celebrations

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The Consulate General of India as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, celebrated the unity in diversity and cultural pride through the performances of diverse cultural troupes from the US Midwest region in its annual flagship event Kala Utsav at Naperville‚Äôs Yellow Box theatre. There were close to 600 people in attendance. 

The programme started with the lighting of the traditional lamp by Consul General Somnath Ghosh, joined by Congressman Bill Foster and State Senator Laura Ellman.  In his inaugural remarks, Consul General Somnath Ghosh while thanking dignitaries, members of the Indian American organisations and friends of India, said that the Consulate supports and promotes Indian languages, cultures and arts of all hues at universities and institutions wherever there is interest. Though it is not enough, Kala Utsav is an endeavor to promote youth and upcoming artistes, and the Consulate is planning more events and collaborating with some organisations to strengthen Indian-American cultural relations.  Though India is the most populous country and there are numerous languages, cultures, and different religions, the fundamental strength of India is India’s unity in diversity. Congressman Bill Foster and State Senator Laura Ellman also made brief remarks.

The performances included: Sitar and Tabla recital by Shreekant Shah (Sitar) and Mr. Surtanu Sur (Tabla); Bharatanatyam dance by Nrithya Sangeeth; Bhangra recital by Bhangra Rhymes Chicago; patriotic songs by Swargam Music school; Kuchipudi dance by Kuchipudi Natya Vihar; Folk dance of Haryana by Association of Haryanvis in America; Bharatanatyam fusion dance by Kalapadma Dance Academy; Garba by Shirlzar Dance Co.; Kathak-Bhangra fusion by I-Radha dance group; Bharatanatyam dance by Natya Dance Theater; fusion dance on patriotic song by Shirlzar Dance. Co.; Mohiniyattam by Bharathanjali School of Dance; Tribal folk dance by Maharashtra Mandal; Kathak Dance by Dancing Petals; Ghoomar Dance by Chicago Association of Rajasthanis in America. Ms. Prachi Jaitly and Mr. Sariq Bukhari were the emcees at the event.  

The State Bank of India, Chicago sponsored the mementos given to the participating teams.  All the performing artistes were given certificates in appreciation of their performances. The showcasing of food from different States of India was another feature of the Kala Utsav 2023. In recognition of the fact that 2023 is the International year of the Millets, some organisations contributed food made up of Millets.  Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago,  Arya Samaj of Chicago, North America Manipur Association, Maharashtra Mandal, Chicago Association of Rajasthanis in America, United Punjabi Association; Oriyya Association, Chicago; Sindhi Association of Chicago; Indian American Cultural Association; Sant Nirankari Mission, India Harvest Restaurant; Kerala Association of Chicago and some individuals – Mr. Rakesh Malhotra; Mr. Om Dhingra; Ms. Anika Dubey and Mr. Gurmeet Singh Dhalwan made contributions through food, logistics, etc.

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