Chicago, IL, – Uttarakhand Samaj of Greater Chicago celebrated Diwali Nov. 2, 2019, at Atlantis Banquets, Arlington Heights IL.
Members and guests came with family and friends from places as far as Madison and Milwaukee in Wisconsin, and Ohio, Iowa, Indiana and Michigan, a press release from USOGC, said.
Attendees were dressed in traditional elaborate Indian clothes and jewelry, typical of Uttarakhand.
Colorful rangolis, marigold flowers, diyas and Lord Ganesha’s idol were placed at the entrance welcoming the guests into the beautifully decorated Banquet Hall.
The cultural program began, promptly with Nanda Devi Yatra, by youngsters, which represents a traditional pilgrimage journey that takes place every year in Uttarakhand. Younger and older kids carried Devi-Doli to the main stage and chanted Nanda Devi bhajans.
The event was inaugurated by lighting of the traditional Diya by Rep. Didech and Ruchi Dabral, president USOGC), along with the Executive Board Members Shailendra Singh, vice president, Manish Upadhyaya, secretary, Chandan Singh, joint secretary, Vikram Negi, treasurer, and Shashi Tewari, joint treasurer.
The entire USOGC Board, was invited to join on the stage as the National Anthems, ‘Star Spangled Banner’ for USA and ‘Jana Gana Mana’ for India were played, along with the famous Uttarakhandi song, Baduli.
Chief Guest for the event, Illinois State Representative Daniel Didech, in his speech, expressed happiness that everyone came together to celebrate Diwali and he hoped that USOGC would continue the tradition in the following years as well.
The USOGC activities and future plans were detailed by Vikram Negi. Next up, melodious bhajans were sung by Neha Bhatt, including renditions of Pahari and Hindi songs later in the evening.
The Guest of Honor U.S. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, expressed his happiness and joy to be present at the event and wished a very Happy Diwali to the Uttarakhandi community gathered there.
Various cultural performances took place including numerous Pahadi dances. The cultural events were led by emcees Mohan Rawat and Vinita Pant, and the young emcees Reet Rawat and Krittika Dabral, who kept the audience engaged and entertained throughout the evening. There were several games and questions & answer routines woven into the program.
There were several raffle gifts given out to the lucky winners throughout the evening. Media sponsors incuding Desi Talk were acknowledged.