The Spring India Day event on June 6 in Union Square, San Francisco showcased India in its cultural best hosted by Ena Sarkar, Founder, CEO and Executive Producer, WomenNow TV.
The key sponsors included: Incredible India, Western Union, Zee family, Etihad, Jet Airways, Adventz, Avex Funding, Saavn, Yupp TV, Visitor’s Coverage, Rudra Learning, India.com, Travelopod, Xfinity, Desi 11.70 AM, and Hiral Henna, KTSF Channel 26, India Currents, New Delhi restaurant, Shastha Foods, Compassionate Chef’s Café.
The organizations that formed the food court for the diverse audience to taste Indian foods were: New Delhi restaurant, Shastha Foods, Sukhi’s, and Compassionate Chef’s Café that not only feeds the homeless kids in San Francisco but run an exchange program that enables kids from the Gandhi Ashram in India to visit San Francisco and vice versa when the kids from San Francisco get a chance to glimpse India in Gandhi Ashram.
The Indian Consulate San Francisco patronized the event with Consul General Venkatesan Ashok and his staff. They led the opening ceremony along with San Francisco District Attorney George Gacon and his wife and various Council Members. In attendance were Assemblyman David Chiu, and Cupertino Council Member Savita Vaidhyanathan. The inauguration included a passionate rendition of the American National Anthem, the Indian National Anthem followed by a reverent chanting of the Gayatri Mantra.
The WomenNow cultural team curated the show by depicting the nuances and splendors of diverse Indian regions and cultures. It was difficult to short list from a commendable talent pool and an overwhelming interest in participation from the various cultural groups in the Bay. Finally, the schools and aggregations that finally made it to the stage were the following:
Kathak Fusion, LTR Indian Dance Company, Kathak- Chhandam Youth Dance Company, Nukad Naatak – EnActe Arts, California Nupur Dance Academy, Deepika Rao & Group, Bollywood Fusions Desi Rhythms, Anisha Bakshi, TablaNiketan, MoreUPBEAT Fusions, Tarana Dance Academy, Sthree Productions, Taekwo Nrithya Ushanjali School of Dance and Black Tiger TaeKwonDo, Krishnagamana- Ramya and group, Nritya Sangama, Smaran Performing Arts, Tufaan, Bhangra Boys, Phuljha diyan, Kriyaa Dance Academy, and Gurus of Dance.
The audience also witnessed some incredible Yoga postures, a heartwarming speech by Tanya Chanthavong about the Tenderloin After School Program and a marvelous fashion show hosted by Jyoti Couture and the Boutique division of the non-profit Maitri—that provides community outreach and education through South Asian and mainstream publications, relevant handouts (flyers / brochures) at community functions as well as presence at discussions/ panels/ conferences on domestic abuse.
A fashion show showcasing the couture of various Indian states were brought together by a talented team coming from Northern and Southern California. It was held as a competition to motivate the participants and the judges.
The judges were Vandana Kumar – Publisher, India Currents, Anu Deshpande – Facilitator for Ted Talk and Priyanka Rana, IT professional and volunteer for South Asian Heart Center. Narika – whose mission is to promote woman’s independence and economic empowerment by helping domestic violence survivors with advocacy, support, information, referrals, and education had a table for advocacy as well.
On that day, the massive audience spanning to almost 20,000 throughout the course of the day, had a chance to experience a live Indian wedding in its Vedic essence. With authentic Hindu rituals and mantras Vijay Rajvaidya, Silicon Valley based entrepreneur, solemnized the wedding of a couple who wished to reinstate their wedding vows in an Indian way commemorating their marriage of ten years with four kids. The bride comes from the orphanage of Mother Teresa in Calcutta when she was adopted by an American couple at the age of two.
In the words of San Jose Councilmember Ash Kalra, “Congratulations to the incomparable Ena Sarkar and WomenNow TV for an incredibly successful inaugural Spring India in San Francisco.”
An evening cocktail reception was held at Sir Francis Drake Hotel with a soiree entitled Dazzle for a Cause. With exotic bar entertainers, belly dancers and gourmet food by chef and restaurateur, Ranjan Dey , owner of New Delhi restaurant and the patron of Compassionate Chef’s Café. Dey and team displayed famous documents, artifacts and artwork for auctions, the proceeds going to Compassionate Chef’s café.
Fashion Designer Leena Singh of Ashima Leena couture held a fashion show. The richly colored and embellished fabrics in silk, chiffon and varied textiles sparkled in the evening lights and transported the mesmerized audience to the realm of the Mughal court. Supported by live singing, music Leena is premium brand of clothing.
San Francis Drake opened up its gorgeous skylight room on the top floor for the euphoric WomenNow team to dance the night away. The jubilant city of San Francisco would wait for the next and the years to come to see more of India, in its ageing heritage and contemporary gleams, with an ode to the old and new, to the East and the West, the city shall wait.