One of the most awaited cultural programs of the year, “Rangla Punjab 2019” organized by the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS), was recently held to celebrate Vaisakhi and the Silver Jubilee of the organization.
The PCS 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.
More than 1,000 people attended the sold out event where the local community, primarily those born and raised here, came for five hours of entertainment, according to the press release from Community Outreach Coordinator Rajinder Singh Mago.
The event was held at the College Of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, a suburb of Chicago where approximately 300 participants performed more than 25 acts, and 10 merchandise vendors attracted interested shoppers in the lobby. Some 50 PCS organizers and volunteers helped make the event a success.
The family-oriented show presented by next-gen Punjabi Americans included a number of vibrant, energetic, authentic Punjabi folk dances and cultural performances.
Participating teams hailed from all around Chicagoland and the neighboring states of Wisconsin and Indiana, featuring children as young as 5, to older adults. Many of the young participants were taught by volunteer coordinators, who were once young “Rangla Punjab” participants themselves, the press release said.
“This event serves as a platform for the youth to develop their cultural identity through performance, and for the local community members to showcase their talent,” said Gurdeep Singh Nandra, PCS chairman.
“This type of event requires a lot more time, patience, dedication and hard work to organize compared to hiring a big name entertainment artist from abroad, but the long term results of sowing the seeds of Punjabi culture among our local next generation would be much more beneficial,” said PCS President Harwinder Paul Singh Lail.
The audience was welcomed by Vice President Vick Singh. The evening began with the “Shabad”, prayer, by children of the Sikh Religious Society (SRS) of Palatine’s Gurmat School. This was followed by a slew of colorful dances and songs.
Bhangra teams like “Navi Paneeri”, “Punjabi Mutiyaraan”, “Punjabi Academy Chicago”, “Gabroo Punjab De”, “Milwaukee Bhangra”, “Indiana Bhangra”, Gidhas performed by groups like “Shaunkana Chicago Diyan”, “Milwaukee Gidha”, and Chicago’s singers like Mona Bhalla, put on an unforgettable show, according to the press release.
Bhangra, featuring the signature Punjabi “Dhol” drum beats, and Giddha, characterized by traditional “Bolis” engaged the audience, which cheered, clapped and tapped its feet with the music, which felt the ambience of villages back home in India, and the university youth festivals held in North America.
Colorful suits, dupattas and turbans filled the auditorium and ecstatic parents and grandparents snapped pictures of their children performing on the stage in traditional costumes.
The program which was divided into four parts, and emceed by Gurnaaz Kaur Sohi, Navtej Singh Sohi, Guru Dhaliwal, Raskirth Singh and Gurkiran Kaur Palia, Manpreet Kaur and Simran Kaur Bhalla.
The program also featured a number of unique events. This included a gold coin raffle draw for all the ticket holders, sponsored by Regal Jewels. Throughout the night, the venue’s lobby was crowded with guests at all times checking out the merchandize and refreshments vendors, socializing, and taking photos.
The incoming president of PCS is Harwinder Paul Singh Lail and the incoming Chairman is Gurdeep Singh Nandra. Mementos were presented to the outgoing 2018 President Surinder Singh Palia and Chairman Bhupinder Singh Dhaliwal.
There were numerous Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze sponsors of the event.