Chicago Andhra Association Celebrates Culture, Fashion

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The Chicago Andhra Association celebrated culture and fashion through a novel program May 21, which combined two generations “Aa Taram- Ee Taram” at Balaji Temple auditorium.

For four hours non-stop, Telugu senior citizens of Chicagoland unveiled their hidden talents, joined by three generations of talented participants, to reflect Indian culture. Some 130 participants were part of the program organized by the President of CAA, Dr. Uma Katiki, Secretary Dr. Bhargavi Nettem, Cultural Secretary Sirisha Kola, all founders of CAA and board of directors.

As with most Indian-American events, this one also began with the traditional lamp-lighting, and “Ganesha stuti” by Seshumamba Tellapragada, Bhargavi Nettem, Gayatri Burra, Sravani Tellaprgada.

Even the emcees at the event belonged to different generations – Dr. Lakshmi Damaraju and Poojitha Nettem.

The famous drama “Harischandra” was enacted by seniors Ramana Murthy Yedavalli ( Director) , Kanya and Ananth Vootkur, Indira and Prasad Chilakapati, Lakshmi Narayana Kesari and Vinod Damaraju also performed.

Telugu and Hindi songs by the couple Vidya and Dr. Viswanatham Susarla, entertained the audience; Fusion dance, Krishna – Govinda, by Jyothi Vangara’s students was a hit; Telugu padyalu by Gopala Krishna Garimella were delightful; Kameswari Bulusu engaged the audience with her melodies and folk songs. Her team of children gave a creditable performance. Monoacting and skits, dances, by both seniors and youth were part of the program, including “ Ma palle andalu” dance by seniors, and “kolatam” by a group of twenty four young women taught by Prasuna Vootkur, as well as classical dances, and humorous skits.

And no program is complete without a fashion show, this time an unusual and very eye-catching one in which three generations of models paraded dresses. The gathering enjoyed dinner accompanied by music and karaoke performances.

He has served in leading roles for several associations and councils including the India Association of St. Louis, Mahatma Gandhi Center, and Midwest FOGANA, and the Gujarati Samaj of St. Louis along with being an excellent cultural ambassador who brings South Asian movies, plays and concerts to St. Louis.

The award was presented to Patel by Pradeep Rajendran, one of the founding board members of AACC who said, “it is an honor to present this award to Ashwin. Ashwin has been a linchpin of the South Asian community in St. Louis for decades.”