Gujaratotsav 2011 Draws Attention to State’s Culture, Achievements

A section of the audience.

By A STAFF REPORTER

NORTHRIDGE, CA – To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of the state of Gujarat, the San Fernando Vally Gujarati Association (SFVGA) organized a unique Gujaratotsav 2011 at the Valley Hindu Temple here on August 20.

Vice President of the Association and Committee Chairperson of the event, Pranav Desai said organizers were thrilled with the support and response to the event. The purpose of putting on the big show he said went beyond   celebrating a milestone. There is a concern among the older generation that the younger Gujarati community is losing its connections with its roots in India and the infrequent visits its members make to meet  relatives and friends  is not sufficient to bond with their rich cultural and religious traditions.  The event was to help the generation of  young individuals understand the great advances and achievements of India and the state of Gujarat. That this kind of event would be held was decided in the organization’s first Board meeting in 2011.

The informative skit "Apnu Gujarat".

 The message was put across at the sold out event accommodating a shade less than 300 people with an innovative approach in the form of  a four person  skit titled “”Apnu Gujarat” in which a visiting  Professor meets up with students who have been away from India and he brings them up to date with the goings on, artfully incorporating all the information in an audio visual and power point presentation. In it was included  important aspects  of Gujarat’s history, literature, culture, key  cities and the vibrancy of the state today. The skit which  written by Varsha Parikh was enacted by herself, Usha Desai, Dr Ameesh Pandya and Dr Vikram Shah. Care was taken to see that the content  was authentic.

The highlight of the entertainment was the vocal performance   of  two of  Gujarat’s outstanding musicians Ashitbhai Desai and  Hemanginiben Desai whose contribution to Gujarati Sugam Sangeet and bhajans has been huge. The duo delighted the house full attendance with the whole soulful devotional songs, cheerful folk music, lighthearted romantic film melodies, meaningful ghazals and classical numbers.

Singers Hemanginiben Desai and Ashitbhai Desai in performance.

The entire auditorium was adorned with handicrafts and decorations projecting the life and ambience of the colorful state of Gujarat and in a tribute to the literary giants from the region, 25 large posters of the most well known were very visibly displayed.

 The chief guests were Navin Doshi and his wife Pratima and in his brief address Doshi commended SFVGA for its  commitment to preserve and promote Gujarati culture and values here in the USA. Desai said  around $14,000 was raised at the occasion which will be put to use in programs to further the glorious past, present and future of the pulsating state of Gujarat.