IAGB community celebrated the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence with great enthusiasm. We had flag-raising ceremonies in towns across MA and NH. Indian diaspora gathered at the famous Hatch Shell in big numbers and also welcomed other communities with open arms. Here’s what this community of stakeholders has to say about it all:
Heide Lee (Presenter of a Chinese dance at the Hatch Shell event)
It was such a pleasure to be in the midst of your Independence Day celebration. Very impressed by such a huge and organized activity. Enjoyed watching so many different types of Indian dances. Thank you very much for such an inclusive introduction to our group performance and glad that we were able to participate.
Lidy Chan (Presenter of a Filipino dance at the Hatch Shell event)
On behalf of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) MA Dance Troupe, I’d like to express my gratitude to you for inviting us to join your cultural performances showcasing our Asian culture during the India Independence day celebration. We were ecstatic to have been invited to perform at such a grand venue, i.e. Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston. When we got there we were greeted by the IAGB ambassador. Prior to our performance, the audience approached us and were interested in learning about our culture, many taking photos with us. Overall the experience was amazing and we are truly grateful that we had this opportunity to collaborate and make history as the first Filipino dance troupe to be a part of this celebration. Personally, the collaboration tells us something about a fundamental human & cultural experience – appreciating the kind things that other people and other Asian organizations do for us – and they offer insights as to why collaboration is important. It was refreshing to see Filipino and Chinese culture included as part of the India Day celebrations. I hope this collaboration will inspire other Asian organizations to join forces and continue to showcase our Asian culture.
Somnath Mukherji (Association for India’s Development)
Association for India’s Development (AID) always participates in IAGB’s annual India Day event because that way we can reach the larger diaspora. It’s an effort to keep focus on the grass root issues in India and the difficulties marginalized communities face. It is also an opportunity to inform people about the efforts being taken to address those social justice issues. We make new connections at the event which help us get support for our activities and sometimes, new volunteers!
Madhu Akkihebbal (Samarthanam USA)
A spectacular music event ‘Nazraana’ was held recently as a fundraiser for Samarthanam Trust for Disabled, India. This amazing musical spectacle was presented by many organizations joining hands for a noble cause. Samarthanam USA was happy to have IAGB as one of the organizers. Close to 1300 people attended the concert. Thank you for your help and support.
Sumeet Mehta (Performer at the Hatch Shell event)
When I learned about the IAGB event I decided to participate in it to balance the cultures of two countries for my daughters. My younger daughter has an intensifying interest in dance, and we got the precious opportunity to present a mother and children performance. That incredible journey of one and half months has given all three of us a memory to treasure, along with old and new friendships. We are looking forward to more bonding opportunities and are so thankful to IAGB for putting in their valuable time into building this great organization.
Rituparna Mukherjee (Group lead of the performers at the Hatch Shell event)
It was a well-managed program on a beautiful day and the venue was just perfect. We appreciated all the backstage help and coordination, to ease our nerves. The audience was engaged and paying attention which made it even better.
It was a thrilling experience to perform where other great artists have performed as well. Thank you for the opportunity!
Will Morrison and Arav Thikekar (Young volunteers)
We had the opportunity to volunteer at the annual India Day event and helped the attendees get to the location without a hassle. Very happy about that experience. Being there was a great way to connect with Indian culture, and we highly recommend it to others! The event was very well organized.
Prabhu Venkataraman (Flag-raising ceremony attendee)
I would personally like to give a huge ‘thank you’ to all who made this year’s India Independence Day celebration such a big success in Grafton. IAGB has been the driving force behind these celebrations in collaboration with BVIS in Grafton and they did a wonderful job organizing it. The active participation and the energy this year was unlike anything I can remember in our town’s history. This was a well observed celebration for our larger community after all that we have gone through in the past few years. I also wanted to thank our Town of Grafton and the representatives for their active support for the event.
Mary D (A Boston resident, Hatch Shell event attendee)
It was a glorious summer day by the river, but fortunately not as hot as Delhi or Mumbai. Beautiful saris and fabulous dancing. I especially liked the Gujarati groups’ costumes. The color, the sounds, the delicious food.. Regret the line was too long, but I did get some Jalebi, yumm.. a special treat for me! Friendly people, fun boutiques. Only wish there could be a henna hand painting booth. And a ‘how to wrap a sari’ booth for simple tourists like me. Happy 75th India! Thanks to you and all who make it happen each year. A lot of work for many and so appreciated by all who attend.