CHICAGO, IL (TIP): The most awaited cultural program of the year, Rangla Punjab, 2017 organized by the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago was celebrated with a lot of zeal and fanfare by participants of all ages, with an electrified Chicago audience at Meadows Clubs, Rolling meadows, IL. The energy of the hall was palpable and the enthusiasm of the participants was contagious. Vaisakhi marks the foundation day of Khalsa panth or Sikh order by the tenth Sikh Guru, Sri Gobind Singh. In 1699 the tenth guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh, chose Vaisakhi as the occasion to transform the Sikhs into a family of soldier saints, known as the Khalsa Panth.
This memorable program encompassed a rare record-breaking number and variety of performances, with participants from Chicagoland as well as teams from neighboring states of Wisconsin and Indiana. The evening started with Shabad coordinated by Mr. Amardev Singh Bandesha followed by colorful dancing and singing performances that enthralled the crowd. The lineup of the cultural program performances was amazing and full of variety. The cultural program was very well anchored by four Emcees; Raskirath Singh, Parvinder Singh Nanua, Mona Bhalla and Paul Singh Lail. There were over thirty beautiful performances from all age groups.
The cultural bonanza was celebrated by Chicago with unencumbered enthusiasm shown through the number of attendees and participants alike; children as young as 4-year-old, through teenagers and adults put on a memorable show. Bhangra and Giddah along with the signature drum beats and ‘boli’s’, electrified the audience and they participated by howling and clapping along the lively beats. The colorful atmosphere shone through the authentic outfits worn by the young and old alike – seemingly transported everyone to the meandering streets of Punjab. As an Emcee reminisced about growing up in Punjab, the atmosphere was brought alive by the participants and their grand attires with great attention to detail.
Mr. Rajinder Singh Mago, one of the event organizers, introduced the dignitaries and distinguished guests to the audience. The chief guest Mr. Darshan Singh Dhaliwal of Dhaliwal Enterprises along with Mr. Sukhmel S. Atwal presented mementoes to the sponsors of the program Onkar Singh Sangha (Allstate Insurance), Dr. Bhupinder Singh Saini and Dr. Narinder S. Grewal. Grand sponsor Dr. Bhupinder Singh Saini congratulated everyone on the auspicious event of Vaisakhi. He credited PCS for keeping the Punjabi heritage alive through such celebrations far across the oceans that keep Punjabis connected with their culture. Dr. Saini, while making mention of the efforts and resources needed for such events said, “These things do not come cheap. I assure the organizers of my continuous support to this great cause.” Dr. Saini got sentimental while expressing his love and gratitude for his father who was also present there. The guests of honor for the evening was the Consulate General of India Ms. Neeta Bhushan represented by Mr. D. B. Bhati (Consul). Mr. Bhati addressed the audience and congratulated PCS for the grand event. Consulate General of Pakistan Faisal Niaz Tirmizi also graced the evening.
The Meadows Club hall became the microcosm of the Punjabi culture and entertainment; it felt as if we were sitting in Punjab amidst all the kaleidoscopic view of its heritage surrounding us. From the authentic props to the intricately designed bhangra and Gidah garbs, the event proved to be a hit once again. Parents’ eyes cherished the moments their children dressed in dance costumes performed on stage. Truly everyone was transported through time and space where one could smell the fragrance of corn and wheat being harvested from the villages of the mighty Punjab. The writer of this passages reminisced about her own childhood at this program; it was that powerful of an atmosphere. Gidah was performed by, to name a few, Bollywood Arts Academy, Shaukana Chicago Diyan, Milwaukee Gidah and Chicago Gidah Girls and so on. Bhangra teams included all age groups like Navi Paneeri, Punjabi Kaum, Warriors Bhangra and many more. Chicago’s renowned singers Mahijit Virdi, Mona Bhalla, Maddy Singh and Ashley Singh made everyone dance to their melodies.
Punjabi music reverberated in the Meadows club hall as gaily-dressed men and women sang and danced to celebrate the festival. The essence of Punjab was reflected in the hall, with kudos to Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago for putting up a grand show and bringing the community together for this memorable event. Truly, Chicagoland will be waiting with bated breath for the next Rangla Punjab from Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago in 2018.
(Photographs and Press release: Asian Media USA)