Assam Team at Texas India Fest in San Antonio

Diwali celebrations are held all across the globe with great pomp and cheer.In San Antonio, Texas, the Indian community continues to celebrate and bring all diverse groups together to celebrate Diwali.

India Association of San Antonio (IASA) is very passionate about the growing Indian community and engages in organizing cultural events to bring everyone together. This was the 39th annual India Fest and it got rebranded for the first time as Texas India Fest. Mayor Ron Nirenberg graced the event with an insightful speech. Representatives from ten states, dressed up in their respective traditional outfits, participated in a parade.

The event was held at an open ground in the Rolling oaks mall.  The President of IASA, Mr. Santanu Das and his team organized this event with great enthusiasm to showcase the multi-cultural spirit of India. The event started with a high energy of dhol beats and a state parade which later formed a human flag of Indian tricolors. Each state got an opportunity to set up their own booth. It was a delightful sight and surprise for everyone present there with a musical background of Vande Mataram raising a patriotic feeling in every Indian’s heart. The event continued with Sikh Martial Arts show called Gatka presented by almost 30 kids that left the crowd mesmerized with their stunts. There were Indian food vendors, Henna painting, saree draping booth, Indian bazaar with all desi decoration items, clothes, bags and a memorable tricolor balloon photobooth to capture colorful moments from the event.

Members of Assam Association of San Antonio were actively involved and displayed some traditional symbolic items of Assamese culture that included xorai and ban bati(traditional bell metal products), japi(conical bamboo hat), gamusa(hand woven cloth), rhino, kopou phool(foxtail orchid), Assam tea, hand woven assam silk items, dhul (drum)& pepa(hornpipe musical instrument). A map of Assam and a trifold was also presented with a collage of different tribes and dances of Assam.

Dr. Lopita Nath(Professor&Chair of History at University of the Incarnate Word) has been coordinating and representing Assam for many years in cultural events in San Antonio. Besides the booth and parade, Dr Nath, along with her dance team also performed a semi classical kathak piece. It was a special performance named Ganga Behti ho kyu – a tribute to humanity by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. The song is a reference to the suffering of people on both sides of the rivers Brahmaputra and the Ganga; Yet both rivers keep silently flowing ignoring the pains of the people. The dance was choreographed by Indian kathak exponent Guru Marami Medhi.

There was a mixed crowd where everyone got a little taste of Indian culture. The show ended on a musical note with some high energy ethnic fashion show and foot tapping DJ battle, similar to fusion of Indian and western music that left the crowd elevated and wanting for more dance moves. The event was a great success filled with the sights, sounds and aroma of local Indian food.