Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago celebrates 25 years of community service
CHICAGO: One of the most awaited cultural programs of the year, “Rangla Punjab 2019” organized by the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS), was recently celebrated with great success. The local community, primarily those born and raised here, came together to celebrate the Punjabi festival of Vaisakhi. The event electrified the audience for nearly five hours at College Of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, a suburb of Chicago. More than 1,000 people were in attendance at this sold-out event, with about 300 participants, more than 25 acts, 10 merchandise vendors in the lobby, and about 50 PCS organizers and volunteers at the show.
Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago celebrated its Silver Jubilee, 25 years of community service.
This memorable, family-oriented show presented by the next generation Punjabi Americans encompassed a record-breaking number of vibrant, energetic, authentic Punjabi folk dances and cultural performances. Participating teams hailed from all around Chicago land and the neighboring states of Wisconsin and Indiana, and they featured children as young as the age of five, all the way up to adults. Many of the young participants were taught by volunteer coordinators, who were once young “Rangla Punjab” participants themselves.
“This event serves as a platform for the youth to develop their cultural identity through performance, and for the local community members to showcase their talent,” said Gurdeep Singh Nandra, PCS Chairman.
“This type of event requires a lot more time, patience, dedication and hard work to organize compared to hiring a big name entertainment artist from abroad, but the long term results of sowing the seeds of Punjabi culture among our local next generation would be much more beneficial,” said Harwinder Paul Singh Lail, PCS President.
The audience was welcomed by Vice President Vick Singh. The evening started with a “shabad” (prayer) by the children of the Sikh Religious Society (SRS) of Palatine’s Gurmat School. This was followed by colorful dances and songs, which were performed by local artists of all age groups.
Bhangra teams like “Navi Paneeri”, “Punjabi Mutiyaraan”, “Punjabi Academy Chicago”, “Gabroo Punjab De”, “Milwaukee Bhangra” and “Indiana Bhangra”, Gidhas performed by groups like “Shaunkana Chicago Diyan”, “Milwaukee Gidha”, and Chicago’s renowned singers like Mona Bhalla, put on an unforgettable show. Bhangra, featuring the signature Punjabi “Dhol” drum beats, and gidha, characterized by traditional “Bolis”, mesmerized the audience. Audience members could not help but respond by cheering, tapping their feet, and clapping along. The kaleidoscopic ambiance was enhanced by the authentic colorful costumes worn by the young and old alike.
It seemingly transported everyone back to the villages, fairgrounds, and university youth festivals of Punjab. This was a nostalgic moment for many, as the College Of Dupage MAC Auditorium became the microcosm of the Punjabi culture and entertainment; it felt as if the spectators were sitting in Punjab amidst the view of its heritage and colorful suits, dupattas and turbans surrounding them. Ecstatic parents and grandparents were untiringly snapping pictures of their colorfully dressed children performing on the stage.
The program. which was divided into four parts, was enthusiastically emceed by Gurnaaz Kaur Sohi, Navtej Singh Sohi, Guru Dhaliwal, Raskirth Singh, Gurkiran Kaur Palia, Manpreet Kaur and Simran Kaur Bhalla.
The program also featured a number of unique events. This included a gold coin raffle draw for all the ticket holders, sponsored by Regal Jewels. Throughout the night, the venue’s lobby was crowded with guests at all times checking out the merchandise and refreshments vendors, socializing, and taking photos.
Rajinder Singh Mago introduced the incoming President Harwinder Paul Singh Lail and Chairman Gurdeep Singh Nandra. Nandra highlighted the significant work PCS has been doing for more than 25 years and appealed the community to support PCS projects. Lail introduced the PCS Board and Mago announced the event’s Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Grand sponsors, who were honored with plaques by Nandra. Mementos were presented to the outgoing 2018 President Surinder Singh Palia and Chairman Bhupinder Singh Dhaliwal.
Chief Guest Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, Bulk Petroleum Wisconsin, Grand sponsors Dr. Bhupinder Singh Saini of Wisconsin, and Dr. Narinder Singh Grewal of California sent their congratulatory messages, since they could not attend the event due to being out of town.
Platinum sponsor was Rajneesh Kaur Nandra. The Gold sponsors were Kevindeep Singh Atwal, Rajpreet Kaur Dhaliwal, and Jaswinder Singh Sandhu (US Oil).
The Silver sponsors were Lakhvir Singh Sahota, Balwinder (Nick) Singh, Harkewal Singh Lally, Avtar Singh Bhaura (Bhaura Transport, Indianapolis), Jesse Sahota, Santokh Singh DC, Dr. Mandeep Singh Sandhu, and Rashpal Singh Khangura.
The Bronze sponsors were Jaidev Singh Bhattal, Gurcharan Singh Jhaj, Amrikpal Singh (Solution Financial), Harinder Singh Rana, Dr. Amrik Singh Sohi, Amardev Singh Badesha, Jasbir Singh Suga (Suga Builders), Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Jarnail Singh Lail, Lakhbir Singh Sandhu, Jaspal Midha, Gulzar Singh Multani, Parminder Banga, Pawa Trucking Inc., Midwest Mind Care Inc., Sanjeet Raj Singh Parmar, Amrik Singh (Amar Carpet), Dr. Amrit Kaur Virk DDS, Harbhajan Singh Kalyan Pur, Baljit Singh, Jagjit Singh Dhindsa, Bikram Singh Sohi, Gurpreet K. Singh (Futurity First), Jasbir Singh Palia, Vicky Saini, Balwinder Singh Girn, Gurcharan Singh Jhawar (Aroma Restaurant).
The event was organized by Harwinder Paul S. Lail, Vick Singh, Parvinder S. Nanua, Manjeet S. Bhalla , Bhupinder S. Dhaliwal, Gurlal Singh Bhattal, Navtej Singh Sohi, Bikram Singh Sohi, Parmjot Singh Parmar, Surinder S. Palia, Rajinder S. Mago, Manjit S. Gill, Sukhmel S. Atwal, Mohinderjit S. Saini, Onkar S. Sangha, Jasbir S. Palia, Bhinder S. Pamma, Amarjit K. Atwal, Balwinder S. Girn, Gurmit S. Dhillon, Parminder S.Ghotra, Yadwinder S. Grewal, Raj Dhaliwal, Rajneesh Nandra and many volunteers, who will be recognized at a special appreciation dinner on June 2.
PCS’s upcoming events include “PCS Youth Graduation and Scholarship Night”, which includes “Rangla Punjab 2019” participants appreciation and awards, on June 2 at the Viceroy of India Restaurant in Lombard, Illinois, the “PCS Night” in fall, and participation with a float in the “Dan’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” on November 28 on State Street, downtown Chicago.
The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is an all-volunteer not-for-profit community service organization devoted to promoting Punjabi culture, language, performing arts, education, good citizenship, healthy life style, and sports in the metropolitan Chicago area and beyond. For further information contact:
Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago,
P.O. Box 1244 , Palatine , IL 60078
PCS Website http://www.pcschicago.org/
PCS Facebook: Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago
Photos by Asian Media