Chicago, Ill. – More than a thousand people gathered to enjoy the cultural program, “Rangla Punjab 2018” organized by the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS), April 7.
The event was held at the Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and according to organizers, the local community, primarily those born and raised in the United States, came together to celebrate the Punjabi festival of Vaisakhi.
The five-hour long event included dances and other cultural performances in which some participants showed their skills in more than 35 acts, a press release from PCS, said.
“This memorable, family-oriented show encompassed a record-breaking number of vibrant, energetic, authentic Punjabi folk dances and cultural performances,” the PCS said. Participating teams hailed from all around Chicagoland and the neighboring states of Wisconsin and Indiana, and they featured children as young as five-year old, as well as adults.
Many of the young participants were taught by volunteer coordinators, who were once young “Rangla Punjab” participants themselves, PCS said. “This event serves as a platform for the youth to develop their cultural identity through performance, and for community members to showcase their talent,” the PCS said.
Children from the Sikh Religious Society (SRS) of Palatine’s Gurmat School rendered the “Shabad” prayer to start the event. Colorful dances and songs were performed by local artists including Bhangra teams like Navi Paneeri, Kaum Punjab Di, and Warriors Bhangra. Gidha dance groups like Shaunkana Chicago Diyan, Milwaukee Gidha, and Bollywood Arts Academy, as well as Chicago’s singers Manmeet Kaur, Mona Bhalla, Maddy Singh, and Parina Mehrotra, put on an “unforgettable show” according to PCS. The audience joined in cheering, tapping their feet, and clapping.
“This was a nostalgic moment for many, as the Meadows Club hall became the microcosm of the Punjabi culture and entertainment,” PCS said, with those present feeling like they had been transported to the Punjab.
The program was emceed by Raskirth Singh and Gurkiran Kaur Palia, Guru Dhaliwal, Seerat Kaur Kaler, and Mona Bhalla. This year, the program included a number of unique events- a book release ceremony for “Engineering a Life” by author Krishan Bedi; release of a new music video by Maddy Singh, who also performed. The venue’s lobby was crowded with guests at all times checking out the merchandise and refreshments vendors, socializing, and taking photos, the press release from PCS, said.
The event’s grand sponsors as well as silver and bronze sponsors, and chief guest Gurdeep Singh Nandra, along with several other Silver and Bronze sponsors were honored with plaques. Mementos were presented to the outgoing President Sukhmel Singh Atwal and the outgoing Chairman Hardial Singh Deol. Incoming President Surinder Singh Palia and Chairman (and also ‘Grand Sponsor’), Bhupinder Singh Dhaliwal, were introduced.
Dhaliwal praised the PCS team for putting on the show, and is quoted saying, “What a way to pass on our Punjabi Virsa (heritage) to next generations. Young participants will cherish these memories for the rest of their lives.”
“When we moved to Chicago about twelve years ago, Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago embraced us and has helped connect my children and family with our roots and Punjabi culture here in Chicago. We can’t wait for the next PCS. event,” Nandra is quoted saying in the press release.
The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is an all-volunteer not-for-profit community service organization devoted to promoting Punjabi culture, language, performing arts, education, good citizenship, healthy life style, and sports in the metropolitan Chicago area and beyond, PCS said.