Lessons of love learned through India Night 2019

Wren Murphy, Diversity and Inclusion Reporter

India Night 2019 taught students and community members about love through dance and food.

The 29th Annual India Night had performances by students, local families and even Dakota State University student that brought to life the feelings associated with the bond of marriage, the theme for the night.

This event sold out. The Volstorff Ballroom was packed as many had to stand to eat and observe.

A Bollywood dramatic skit taught tongue-in-cheek lessons that would lead to marriage, including “dream about marriage,” “flirting with someone special,” “dealing with parents” and “impressing and convincing girl’s dad,” said the Indian Student Association president, Balawanthrao Jadhav. He also added this was a new edition.

“It feels like you are in a cloud and everyone is cheering you,” said Navreet Brar, one of the performers. “It makes you want to dance more and more and more.”

Dances like Bhangra, a Punjabi folk dance performed by students from Punjab, a state in India, reflected a lot of the culture. Others were just flashy and fun like a freestyle dance by a DSU student gained wide audience applause and featured songs like “Gangnam Style.”

“It was the first performance that really woke people up,” said senior hospitality management major Chinomso Diejomaoh. “My favorite was the DSU one, but they were all super good.”

Food was also a big aspect of the night. The menu this year included chicken curry, tandoori chicken, Gobi Manchurian, pilaf and more. Gobi Manchurian is made of cauliflowers in a tangy sauce, while pilaf is basmati rice, mixed vegetables and ghee.

Jadhav said the food is his favorite part of the night along with the decorations.

“We spend two days decorating,” Jadhav said. “But we started planning everything from October [2018].”

He said the event cost $8,000 this year. Normally, the event costs about $5,000, but Jadhav said the decorations for this year’s theme increased the cost.

The Indian Student Association booked the venue for India Night months in advance in accordance with the availability of its sponsors, which included several banks, hotels and stores like Flavor Indian and Asian Fare, Jadhav said.

Jadhav hopes India Night continues to grow over the next couple of years because it’s an “event for everyone.”

Josephina Sabino, a senior general studies major, came to India Night for the first time last year and came again because her “first time was so awesome.”

“I came here because it’s a beautiful culture and I’ve heard so much good background of the event,” Sabino said. “It was definitely worth my $10.”