“Rangla Punjab 2017” organized by the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago was celebrated at Meadows Clubs in Rolling Meadows, a Northwest suburb of Chicago. Despite rainy weather, more than 1000 people came to the sold-out event, according to Asian Media USA.
Thirty two Punjabi folk dances and cultural performances by teams from Chicagoland and neighboring states of Wisconsin and Indiana took place at the event. Most of the participants were trained by PCS volunteer instructors and coordinators.
Surinder Singh Sangha of PCS board of advisors welcomed guests, and the “Shabad” prayer was recited by children of Gurmat School S.R.S. Palatine. Bhangra and Gidha along with the signature Punjabi “Dhol” drum beats and ‘Boli’s’ engaged the audience.
Mementos were presented to the outgoing President Gurmit Singh Dhillon and the outgoing Chairman Harkewal Singh Lally. Incoming President Sukhmel Singh Atwal and chairman Hardial Singh Deol were introduced. Atwal introduced his 2017 Board of Directors, and thanked the organizers and supporters.
The Grand Sponsor of the program, Dr. Bhupinder Singh Saini and the Chief guest Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, along with several other Gold and Silver sponsors were honored with plaque. Saini, of Advanced Pain Management of Milwaukee, credited PCS for keeping the Punjabi culture alive.
The chief guest Darshan Singh Dhaliwal and wife Debra Dhaliwal, of Dhaliwal Enterprises from Wisconsin, shared the stage with guests of honor, the Indian Consul in Chicago D. B. Bhati representing the Consul General Neeta Bhushan. Pakistan’s Consul General in Chicago Faisal Niaz Tirmizi came with his Punjabi speaking wife to enjoy Punjabi culture in Chicago.
Rajinder Singh Mago introduced Tirmizi and requested his government’s help in maintaining Sikh monuments and historical sites of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Pakistan. “After partition in 1947, about 80% of Sikh heritage sites remained in Pakistan, and nearly 70% of those are close to destruction. Those are Pakistan’s history as well,” Mago said in his speech.