Oct 092011
 
Authors: Erik Carman

Sounds of Bollywood echoed through the Lory Student Center yesterday evening as CSU’s annual India Nite kicked off. The three-hour event, which took place from 4 to 7 p.m. in the LSC Main Ballroom, featured a variety of traditional and modern Indian songs and dances.

Since its inception 20 years ago, India Nite has grown exponentially each year, said Srivatsan Parthasarathy, a biochemistry graduate student and president of the Indian Student Association (ISA).

Parthasarathy said, despite the amount of work involved, he enjoyed the opportunity to display the culture, traditions and values he holds dear.

“It’s amazing how these traditions are so old, yet still followed,” Parthasarathy said.

The event opened with a 600-year-old prayer sung by Parthasarathy and Satya Abhishek. This was followed by a 4,000-year-old dance known as Bharatnatyam, or “the dance of kings.”

The ISA, which is responsible for putting on the event each year, consists of 153 Indian students.

Planning for the event began more than six months ago, a process which has become extremely intensive during the last two months.

Electrical Engineering graduate student Hrushikesh N. Kulkarni, the ISA’s director of communications, said he valued India Nite as an opportunity to meet other students at CSU, adding that he enjoyed learning about American culture as much as he liked sharing his own.

The ISA’s cultural secretary, Somtirtha Roy, an electrical and computer engineering graduate student, said he expected more than 800 people to attend, making it the biggest India Nite to date.

“It feels very good when you can show something from your country to another country,” Roy said.

Roy, a native of Kolkata, a citylocated in the northeast India, has lived in the U.S. for one year.

“CSU- Fort Collins is awesome,” Roy said. “ I haven’t been in America much, but I really like this place.”

Roy stated that the most stressful part of the planning process was coordinating meetings that could facilitate all of the ISA’s members.

“99 percent of the ISA are graduate students,” Roy noted. “This makes coordination very difficult.”
Despite the challenges involved, however, Roy said India Nite was something he looked forward to each year.

India Nite is not only limited to Indian students, Roy added.

“We’d love for you to come, collaborate and perform with us,” he said, adding that Sunday night’s show featured several American students on stage.

“Our goal is to bring the west to the east,” Roy stated. “And make friends in the process.”

Collegian writer Erik Carman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

India Night

Somosas, a traditional south Indian dish, were served

The Indian Student Association has 153 members, with 5 serving on the committee.

India Nite is possible with the help of ASCSU and several local sponsors

Planning for the event is a six-month-long process

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