New York, Aug 22 (IBNS) Telangana NRI Association (TeNA), a US based non-profit working towards the cultural and developmental issues of Telangana community, held a cultural march as a part of Federation of Indian Associations' India day parade in New York City to show case the Telangana culture and identity.
New York City witnessed a tri-color deluge on Sunday on the eve of India day parade - more than 150,000 NRIs from all over the east coast witnessed a display of India's Independence Day celebrations outside India.
Every year, Indians across the US celebrate the Indian Independence day on the following Sunday of Aug 15.
Hundreds of Telangana NRIs from surrounding states and as far as from Boston and Washington DC gathered to celebrate Indian Independence Day and also display the Telangana culture.
Telangana region has distinct cultural identity. The Bathukamma - a cone shaped concentrically arranged flower mound representing Goddess Gauri and, Bonalu - an earthern pot filled with rice and turmeric mix, a sacred meal offered to the Goddess Kali, were displayed along with poster placards of Telangana cultural, historical and artistic identities.
Venkat Maroju, Board member of Telangana NRI Association said, "Identity of Telangana is its vivacious culture and we wanted to show case it to the world."
Amar Karmilla, Treasurer of TeNA said, "We were delighted when FIA informed us we have a slot in the parade." He added, "We only had two weeks of time to make preparations, but all our members supported and there was a huge positive response from our members."
Shravanth Poreddy, a member dressed in a typical Hyderabadi Muslim attire, holding a placard poster of Hyderabadi Biryani said, "The turnout is huge, women and kids were very enthusiastic to be part of this parade. This is great opportunity for us to expose Telangana culture."
Srinivas Reddy, one of the organizers for the parade, said that "It is the first time TeNA has participated in the march and we are going to do this every year."
Shruti, a student from St. Johns University said, "We are students here and we have been looking for a platform to show case our culture and TeNA provided it. I am glad to be here."
Members of the group carried posters of Pochampally and Gadwal sarees --the fabric art of Telangana, Nirmal wooded toys and Pembarti metal artifacts. Hyderabadi Biryani, Kapu Rajaiah's painting, Hisorical stuctures - Kakatiya toranam, Charminar, Ramappa and Golkonda fort.
Ravi Mayreddy, Chairman of TeNA,"People have known all these things for centuries, but they don't know these things originate in Telangana. Today, we are proud to show our culture and identity to people here." " Ravi added, "on behalf of all Telangana NRIs, TeNA thanks FIA for organizing such a great parade and giving us an opportunity to participate."
The gathering marched from the 38 street to 24th street on Madison Ave.
Vidya Venkatayog and Vinaya Surineni clad in Pochampalli and Gadwal sarees brought beautiful Batukammas with them. All women and girl children put Bathukammas in in the heart of New York City street intersections and sang traditional Bathukamma songs circling the flower mounds with rhythmic claps.
"I saw Anil Kumble and Saif Ali Khan looking at Bathukamma's and the posters," said Goverdhan Tokala, a software engineer who played Dappu, an Indian version tambourine played in Telangana region.
Goverdhan added, "I thoroughly enjoyed the parade. This is one of the best programs by Telanganites I had ever seen in the US."
Ravi Dannupaneni a member form TeNA NJ chapter said, "This parade provided an opportunity to the American people to have a full view of the cultural experience of the Telangana identity."
A large number of onlookers took photographs of this display of Bathukammas, Bonalu and the Dappu dance.
Takkalapalli Rajeshwar Rao, Mayor of Warangal city and Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi, Vice-president of BJP (AP), who were in USA, also took part in it and the occasion applauded the Telangana NRIs not forgetting their roots.