One thing is for sure, students in the India Heritage Club can dance better than most people can walk. More than 600 people came for dancing, singing, and delicious food at India Heritage Night. The event was held on Sat. Dec. 3rd in the Atwood Memorial Center Ballroom.
The theme for India Heritage Night 2016 was, “Sanskriti, A Medley of Traditions.” According to Dr. Sneh, professor of physics and advisor of India Heritage Club, Saturday marked the 23rd year they have been putting on the show.
The night began with the American national anthem, the Indian national anthem, and a prayer song.
“It is really important in Indian Culture that we acknowledge the Deities,” said Sruthi Shankar, undergraduate biomedical science and biochemistry major, secretary of the India Heritage Club, and speaker at the show.
Each performance was deeply rooted in India culture from classical folk performances to Bollywood dances.
The first performance was a traditional India dance called Kathak, which roughly translates to “story” from the Sanskrit. The dance is performed barefoot with bells around the ankles. The performance told the story of Hindu Deity, Krishna, and how he protected his people.
“Krishna was one of my favorite characters growing up with Hinduism,” said Shankar. She added that the next performance was a modern take of Krishna. This performance was titled, “Classical Fusion Dance.”
Another performance was titled the “Rajasthani Dance.” Bagul said it represents the daily work and stages of the Rajasthani people and the state of Rajasthan. Next was Dandiya, a performance with three boys and three girls that used rhythm sticks while dancing perfectly in sync with one another. Followed by this was a Bollywood Folk dance.
Halfway through the performance, guests waited anxiously in line to get their hands on a wide variety of Indian Food.
“Since many of you will never get to experience India this is St. Cloud State’s way of showing the culture,” said Sneh. “All of the food has been made by students by scratch, that was a surprise to me.”
Pratik Bagul, graduate student in mass communications, Vice President of the India Heritage Club, and also a speaker at the show commented on the food, “I’m a foodie, this is my favorite part of the night. I like to hear from everyone how good the food is because our members put in so much effort. Everything was handmade, nothing was processed,” said Bagul. Shankar commented on the hard work and added, “A family of four takes two to three hours to cook the food because of all the spices.”
After dinner was served, Shankar mentioned that everyone was probably feeling full and tired from all the delicious food. Therefore, they began the second half with a slow-paced duet titled, “The rhythm of love.” Following was a video that showcased a day-in-the-life of a student in the India Heritage Club at Saint Cloud State University called, “The American Dream.” The last performances included a hip-hop dance, beat-boxing, and a musical number with impressive guitar playing and passionate singing.
The show concluded with an explosion of energy from the performers as they all rushed on stage to dance for one final celebration.
Bagul gave a speech of thanks at the end of the show. “Thank you members of our club, it really exceeded my expectations. Thank you everyone who helped us keep this evening successful.”