The Broward Center for the Performing Arts was transformed into a little bit of India on Sunday, Aug. 15, when the South Florida Chapter of the Association of Indians in America hosted India’s Independence Day Celebration.
More than a dozen dances featuring girls in traditional garb provided spectacularly colorful examples of the culture and dress of people of different regions of the sub-continent which won its independence from Great Britain in 1947 after some 200 years of colonial rule.
The performances ranged from songs to folk dances to a sizzling Bhangra number that rocked the hall and delighted the several hundred people who turned out for the show – so many, in fact, that the authentic Indian dishes on sale as part of the festival ran out long before the demand was satisfied.
Politicians from Gov. Charlie Crist, who sent a message to the association, to Congressman Ron Klein, D-Fort Lauderdale, the city’s Mayor John P. “Jack” Selier and Commissioner Bruce G. Roberts, who showed up, hailed
the role Indians play in America and the relations between the Asian nation and the United States.
“Indian Americans have made great economic, social and cultural contributions to the state of Florida and our nation,” Crist said in his letter.
Klein, Seiler and Roberts took part in the lighting of a “World Peace Flame” that burned on the stage where the young artists showcased their talents.
Peta Rowe Ahipeaud came out for the festival with daughters Jazmyne, 4, and Phoenix, 3, who, she said, enjoyed all things cultural about India.
Photo by Mohamed Hamaludin. Lavina Khan of Coral Springs and Noreen Hossain and Shreya Dutta of Parkland were among performers at the India Day festival.