The Indian Cultural Society (ICS) of East Brunswick ended 2015 with a bang and concluded the year with their annual dinner and a show “Raaga Beats.” The imagery…The costumes…The performances…was nothing short of sensational! I was completely blown away of the vibrant and creative expression through dance performed by students at various age and grade levels.
The night ended with a theatrical performance “It’s About Time” which consists of five comic one-acts by David Ives and one comic act by Christopher Durang, Directed by Dr. Farely Richmond. Although each comical act was absolutely speculator, my favorite was the first performance of the evening “Words Words Words” with cast members Shailendra Khurana as “Milton”, Mazhar Sadikot as “Swift”, and Shilpa Shelar as “Kafka.” I think it was probably my favorite because I could relate as writer with the characters…3 monkeys stuck in a cage force to find the right words, words, words, during those dreadful moments of writer’s block.
Intermission between the two shows was an unbelievable buffet of Indian Cuisine. To say that this was an amazing night would be an understatement. Dinner was definitely a feast for the eyes and an incredible love affair for my palate. As a West Indian this was definitely a night where East met West, Something that we have done many nights before. However this night was different, it was not about what made us different… But instead what made us the same. As the music began to play, there was something all to familiar with it, it was not just the music of the east, or the music of the west, it was simply the music of our soul. The music of the south, north, west and east…the universal language that we all seem to understand that tells the stories of the past and the present.
As the students performed one by one adorned in the most beautiful jewel tone costumes, my eyes was drawn to the sea of beautiful colors surrounding me in the audience. As I looked out into the audience…I couldn’t help but notice the women of various ethnicity draped in six yards of history and culture. Women were draped in beautiful Sarees, these Sarees weren’t just fashion statements…they were statements.
Statements of equality and respect for the values and the history that the Indian Cultural Society instills within their children everyday. Values and teachings that will be passed on from one generation to the next. History that will live on in every raaga beat…in every saree…in every thread that makes up the tapestry that weaves together the very fabric of what it means to be a part of the Indian Cultural Society.
The Indian Cultural Society was founded in 1999 in order to create a place to promote cultural and generational understanding in order to strengthen the community…And I think its safe to say…Mission Accomplished.
If you would like to learn more about the Indian Cultural Society Of East Brunswick go to http://www.indianculturalsociety.com
The Indian Cultural Society also presented “Manavi” a New Jersey based organization established in 1985 dedicated to ending all forms of violence against South Asian Women with a “Good Service Award” during their Annual Dinner and Show. To learn more or get involved go to http://www.manavi.org or call 732-435-1414.