Celebrating India


Contributing Reporter

The Gold Room in the Oakland Center was overflowing with with almost 300 people as Indian Night 2009 got underway on Saturday, March 14.

From 7-11 p.m., Oakland University students — Indian and non-Indian — performed a variety of dance, live music and other entertainment.

There was a fashion show with people wearing bright, colorful clothing from India, as well as dance and music from rural parts of India and Bollywood — the Indian version of Hollywood — tunes infused with American hip hop.

There was also authentic ethnic food, catered by Royal Indian Cuisine. Jean Ann Miller, director of OU’s Center for Student Activities, said the students who put together the event got a waiver from Chartwells, the OC’s exclusive food caterer.

The event was hosted by the Indian Student Association, and co-sponsored by Desi Rang Association of OU.

“We wanted to showcase the entire culture and events of the subcontinent, said Sejal Rathi, Desi Rang’s president.

Other than providing entertainment and cultural awareness, the night also tried to help global hunger. Children’s Rights and You America had a table by the entrance, raising money and awareness for children in America and India.

“CRY was there to raise awareness and get volunteers to support their cause,” said Krishna Gummadi, president of ISA.

Rudragouda Channappanavar, a biomedical sciences grad student, said that the night represented the strength of unity through diversity. He said this event showcased the Indian community and its diversity to the world.

Sehar Kazi, who works for the International Students and Scholars Office at OU, said the event was a positive event, especially for Indian kids growing up in the U.S., in that they can know of their heritage.

Allison Moore, a teacher and part of a church group who adopted a student from India, said this was her second time coming to this event and that it was a fun evening. She said her favorite part was the Fusion dance which melded various music themes of India and the US.

—Masudur Rahman contributed to this report