This year’s India Nite to feature Bollywood

Vanessa Marcano

Vanessa Marcano

Imagine a vast territory with hundreds of thousands of years of history, more than 400 living languages, a fiery cuisine and some of the most diverse identities known across the globe: this is India, represented once again by SDSU students and faculty at this year’s India Nite.

On March 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Volstorff Ballroom will turn into a cultural showcase featuring dances, performances and flavors from the Southeast Asian nation, available to SDSU students who were able to purchase tickets for $7 per person.

India Nite 2010 &-sponsored by the International Relations Club and the Indian Students’ Association– will feature at least five to six dance performances which will represent all the major regions of the country, said Gagan Deep, a dairy science graduate student and president of the ISA.

“One of my favorite parts of India Nite is the ambiance, all the colors and the vibrancy from the performances,” he said.

The various dances included in India Nite seek to represent all the different ethnic groups in this nation. The bhangra dance, which began as a celebration of an ancient harvest festival, comes from the Punjab region of India, located in the north. The eastern region will be represented with a Bengali dance, in addition to other classical representations, including a traditional clothing exhibition.

Eastern traditions meet Western culture through the Bollywood dance performance, which will feature a medley of contemporary songs from the renowned Indian film industry, accompanied by dynamic dance moves and colorful outfits. The performance is divided into three mini-segments, the first being a contemporary comedy dance, followed by a more “westernized” party dance and then concluding with a regional fusion dance, said Rumela Bhadra, agricultural and bio systems engineering graduate student and also a performer at India Nite.

“Dance and music have always been a part of every culture and religion in India for many years,” said Bhadra, who is also helping out with preparing some of the dishes for the event. Indian food enthusiasts should expect to find several options to quell their appetite, for the India Nite menu will include chole &-a chick pea-based dish, mutter paneer &-a north Indian curry dish made with peas and cheese, vegetable biryani &-a rice-based dish, raita &-a yogurt-based sauce and gulab jamun &-a dairy dough-based dessert. In addition to all the exotic flavors, India Nite’s fare will include the refreshing taste of mango ice cream, manufactured right here at SDSU’s dairy.

More than 450 guests are expected to attend India Nite, which sold out just three days after the tickets went on sale, Deep said. Around 80 people, including students, faculty and their families have been involved in the program, which has been enduring its finishing touches for around one month.

“It hasn’t just been Indian students working or volunteering to help with logistics, there are also Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepalese … all of the Indian subcontinent, and even some American students are involved,” Deep said. “At India Nite, students and the community can get to see how one country can be so diverse.”