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Vedic Fair 7 Brings Together the Rich Indian Heritage to Houston

Dasha Avatar temple and Bhagwan Maha Vishnu was set up at the entrance.

Dasha Avatar temple and Bhagwan Maha Vishnu was set up at the entrance.

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By Vanshika Vipin Varma

KATY: India’s rich cultural heritage encompasses the spectacular flavors of customs, traditions and rituals. The vibrancy, diversity and glory of India come alive each year at the Vedic Fair, and this year’s event was spectacular as ever. The 7th edition of this majestic event was held at the Cinco Ranch High School, Katy, on February 24. 

Vedic-Fair-in-6

Kids Avatar Show

Ashirwad= A Blessing’, the force behind this event strongly believes in their mission of preserving age-old spiritual knowledge and imparting the same to the next generation. With this noble belief and the tremendous support received from philanthropists and volunteers, Ashirwad has been successfully conducting remarkable events from the last 7 years.

As the guests walked into the Cinco Ranch High School at 5 pm, they could not help but notice the splendid architecture of a Dasha Avatar temple. This iconic set-up of Bhagwan Maha Vishnu right at the entrance stunned the audiences, building curiosity for what’s inside the hall. The guests were welcomed with an invocation pooja by Hanuman Swamy, from Katy’s Rama Jaya Niketan Temple. 

10 Vishnus | 10 Avatars, from left: Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Nara-Simha, Parashu Ram, Bala Ram, Ram, Krishna, Kalki.

10 Vishnus | 10 Avatars, from left: Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Nara-Simha, Parashu Ram, Bala Ram, Ram, Krishna, Kalki.

Ashirwad conducts classes under various genres and one of them is an Indian lifestyle class for kids. Some students from this batch recited Shanthi Mantras as a part of invocation pooja. Good vibrations set in the air as the ISKCON Houston group went around from the entrance to Bharat Bazaar Street sanctifying the whole area with the chants of Hari Nama Sankeertan. This was followed by a Celebrate India Exhibits contest, where the confident presenters showcased a significant variety of exhibits, leveraging the contest to a level never seen before. 

Champion Sai Pardhu Aki for Sloka-Thon along with teachers

Champion Sai Pardhu Aki for Sloka-Thon along with teachers

The breathtaking line-up of Celebrate India Exhibits included some extraordinary presentations, well researched on India’s fascinating heritage. The compelling subjects included, Ayurveda– Science of Life by Aaryaa Joshi, Sundar Kand– Power of Devotion by Sai Pardhu Aki, Ashtanga– 8 Limbs of Yoga by Harshini Kaparaju, Incredible India– World’s Largest Secular Democracy by Sudhiti Marri, Voices of India by Annika Ahuja, Save Precious Indian Rivers by Laalasa Kella, Agnidev– The Undying Flame by Rishi Kadiam, Famous Indian Sages– Ancient Scientists by Ajay Rao, Power of Sloka Chanting by Ishika Pandurangam, Angkor Wat- Heaven on Earth by Krish Varun, Mahatma Gandhi– Peace Warrior by Srinidhi Srikalyani, Agni, Human-Divine Channel by Anushka Sapru, Bhagwad Githa– Management Lessons by Roshan Kadiam, Concept of Re-Incarnation by Vidhyaa Murugan, Significance of Lighting a Diya by Reim Rao, Buddhism, Islam, Jainism, and many more. 

Champion Studio Mudra School of Dance, Patriotic Dance Unity in Diversity

Champion Studio Mudra School of Dance, Patriotic Dance Unity in Diversity

The young Aryaa Joshi became the Celebrate INDIA Exhibits Presentations 2018 Champion for her topic ‘Ayurveda– The Science of Life’, while Sai Parthu Aki triumphed with the runner up spot for his topic ‘Sundar Kand– The Power of Devotion’.

Champion Arya Joshi, Presentation on Ayurveda

Champion Arya Joshi, Presentation on Ayurveda

This year also witnessed an entertaining new addition, the Dance Talent Team Competition. Six teams competed with each other over an exceptional choreography, dazzling costumes, stunning props and foot-tapping dance sequences adhering to the ‘Bhakti and Indian Heritage’ themes.

Vedic Fair 7’s Dance Talent Championship was awarded to Studio Mudra School of Dance for their Patriotic Unity in Diversity performance, and Rashmi Shashi did the outstanding choreography. The sporadic Sloka-thon contest showcased a unique talent of chanting slokas from Sri Vishnu Sahara Namam, where the contestants were supposed to recite slokas by any number, in increments and in the reverse order. Sai Pardhu Aki bagged the Enchanted Empress Sloka-thon rolling trophy by winning the Sloka-thon 2018 champion.

Brides of India Fusion Show, from left: Gujarat, Bengal, Kashmir, Goa, Maharashtra, Punjab, Odhisa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh.

Brides of India Fusion Show, from left: Gujarat, Bengal, Kashmir, Goa, Maharashtra, Punjab, Odhisa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh.

The next act truly mesmerized the audiences leaving them totally perplexed. It was the prime time fast paced show, “10 Vishnus- 10 Avatars” and it was inspired by the 10 main avatars of Maha Vishnu, that showcased Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narsimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Balarama, Krishna and Kalki avatars of Vishnu that incarnate to protect the good, punish the evil and re-establish law and order. Re-affirming the old-age belief that Vishnu protects his ardent devotees, the story of Prahlad brought into light how a strong faith in God protects devotees from vicious evil and that faith is stronger than any power in this world.

Another story on Vamana emphasized how the mighty crushed the ego and greed of Mahabhali and blessed him with a boon. The recital of Bharat’s love for Ram over his kingdom and power was a significant message for the people of today. The audiences were captivated with Krishna and Arjun’s dialogues from Bhagwad Gita.

It was then time for the Super Finale, ‘Brides of India- Fusion Show’, a marvelous entertaining performance choreographed by the Vedic Fair Chair Geetha Ravula. The whole of India was bought to stage with this magnetizing rendition that included contemporary music, striking authentic bridal costumes with gorgeous bridal models from Kashmir, Punjab, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bengal, and Orissa.

As the magnanimous evening came to a halt, Geetha Ravula came up on stage and thanked the Ashirwad Team members for their continued commitment and dedication towards Indian Heritage. She also thanked Priya Muralidharan, Deepika Maharaj, Sailesh and Radhika Kaparaju, Ashutosh and Sonali Sapru, Uma Chidambaram, Srimathi Kumar, Mahima Bhat, Manisha and Mahesh Halapeti, Shagun Ahuja, Mahesh Harapanahalli, Sudhir Aki, Bharat Rao, Padmaja Vasantha, Vinod Conikee, Varun Rajan, Kedar Challa, Kavitha Kella, Pooja Misra, Srujana Dunnara, Rithika Ravishankar, Divena Donthi and Ashirwad Young Wingz Team comprising of 50+ high school volunteers who served passionately throughout the span.

She mentioned, “Firstly, I would like to offer my credits to my Guruji, for having me initiate this and helping me share this age-old knowledge. This year, we estimate the count of the audience to be over 3000 people. I am so glad that kids from all the age groups enjoyed and celebrated our culture that was exhibited in a splendid mix of contemporary and traditional touch, without compromising on the values”.

Ashirwad A Blessing Team thanked all the supporting organizations; ISKCON, Sanatan Hindu Center, Shri Sita Ram Foundation, Sri Rama Jayaniketan Temple, US Desi Gals, Hindus of Greater Houston, Daya Houston, apart from the organizations which participated in Celebrate India Inter-Faith exhibits, Buddhism by Universal Door Meditation Center, Islam by Islamic Society of Greater Houston, Jainism by JVB Preksha Meditation Center, and Vedic Bazaar Vendors. Ashirwad Team appreciated supporters of Vedic Fair Subhash and Sorojini Gupta, Umang Mehata, Judges Thara Namarasinhan and Indrani Parthasarathy. Ashirwad Team also thanked its media sponsors Indo-American News, Voice of Asia, India Herald, Voice of Sanatan Hinduism, Andhra Mirchi, Radio Hungama, Masala Radio and Geetanjali radio.

At Vedic fair 7, the audience was truly startled with the India exhibit presentations by kids. The audiences were treated to high-energy performances that lasted for five hours. And the audiences didn’t stop there and went on requesting for more.  This exceptional event was a perfect combination of showcasing Indian heritage and religion, blended admirably with learning and entertainment. One could actually feel the pulse of the enchanting land of India, and that is a mark of a successful event.

Houston is looking forward to the 8th chapter of Vedic Fair that will be held in February 2019. For continued updates and to know more please visit facebook.com/VedicFair.

 

Testimonials & experiences from VEDIC FAIR 7 participants and visitors:

Ashutosh Sapru: ‘Once the stage shows started it was a never ending beautiful presentation of dances. I loved the Vedic walk by Ashirwad kids as various Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism, and the grand spectacle of Dashavtars’.

Shamal: ‘Vedic fair gave the marvelous experience of Indian heritage. It’s an exquisitely arranged variety of cultural program. I participated in Brides of India fusion show as a bride from Goa and it was all Geethaji’s efforts which came alive in the show, in our form’.

Sachin Joshi: ‘Vedic Fair 7 was a fulfilling experience. I’m already looking forward to Vedic Fair 8’.

Kavitha Kella: ‘Festive and Flamboyant Vedic Fair is a blend of Spiritual and Indian cultural Experience. India Exhibits by Ashirwad kids covered a wide range of topics from Vedic, Historical, Science and to the present India, Folk & Classical Dance competition, Sloka-thon (not seen anywhere else), and 10 Vishnu’s Theatre mesmerized us. The trance of Vedic Fair cannot be expressed in mere words and it’s my fortune to experience it live since the past 4 years. Geethaji and Sriji have put tremendous effort through the years to impart Indian values and traditions in our kids and along with them as parents we also gained knowledge on the path of spirituality’.

Rakhi Joshi: (Mother of Ashirwad Students): ‘Vedic Fair 7 and all the Vedic Fairs we have attended as a family so far have been a very enriching experience for us. My kids have participated in Vedic walk, diorama preparation, dramas and Celebrate India exhibits, and it has helped them significantly in their overall development. In one line if I have to sum it up I would say Vedic Fair is a flamboyant celebration of positivity and goodness. It is perfect manifestation of Indian heritage and culture’.

Yoga: ‘What a huge effort it took to make this a great event. I had so much fun from rehearsals to this actual event. I want to Thank everyone and especially Ms. Geetha. Can’t say enough about the main event, it was so well planned and organized. What a wonderful experience’.

Surendranath Naidu (First Time Vedic Fair Visitor): ‘I have never seen anything like this before, it was way beyond my expectation. Visitors had something to enjoy and learn all through. Kids had a blast. Vedic Fair was full of continuous energy full house till end’.

Arya Joshi (9 year old), Vedic Fair 7 India Exhibit Presentation Champion: ‘This is my 3rd year presenting at Vedic Fair, every year I not only improve my presentation skills but also learned and got inspired from others creativity’.

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