Diaspora

South Korea featured country in 12th Asian Festival

BALBIR SINGH | June 24, 2019 10:57 AM

INDIANAPOLIS: The 12th Annual Asian Fest, presented by Asian American Alliance, was filled with new discoveries, flavors, sights and sound from Asia, at the Indiana State Museum/White River State Park here on Sunday. According to Rupal Thanawala, Board President, Asian American Alliance "every year, Asian Festival spotlights onE Asian country."  
In the 12th edition of the Asian Fest, South Korea was the featured country. The visitors visited the special Korean exhibit area to learn about the country, people, cultural and customs. With Korean American  Association of Indiana the event partner, the visitors enjoyed getting them photographed against the backdrop of Seoul (capital of South Korea) banner.
 Alexandria Audritsh, who was crowned the Indy International Festival queen, was among the five  models from different countries, selected for the event. It was a free family-friendly festival, which drew a sizable crowd. Sen Jim Merrit also graced the occasion.
Bollywood Beats of Beech Grove, Indianapolis, presented lively dances on popular Indian filmy songs and Bhangra by young artists. Jenny Bhupatkar Chakrabarti, who originally hails from Mumbai (India) is the owner of the Bollywood Beats. She is an accomplished dancer and  choreographer. Bharatnatyam and  Peacock dances also drew good applause from the spectators.
Danish singer, actresses and choreographer Anita Lerche was a special invitee. She kept the visitors spell-bound with her lovely voice. She sang Punjabi songs. With her powerful presentation, even the spectators joined Anita and danced with her. World renowned community leader and winner of numerous awards for his unique artwork K P Singh, Dolly Trehan, Jenny Bhupatkar Chakrabarti, Maria R Manalang and media personality Young-Hee Yedniak, were among those who made the program more interesting and enjoyable. Even kids did not lag  behind.
Anita Lerche, Billboard Top-5 Charting singer-songwriter is the first non-Asian woman from the West to release a solo album in Punjabi, performed a medley of Punjabi songs
Dragon Dance also drew the attention of the spectators. The 'Dragon Dance' moved through crowd in the Great Hall and outside on the bank of the canal.
 Entertaining cultural performances from artists from South Korea, China, India, Japan, Philippines, Myanmar (Burma) and Sri Lanka entertained the visitors who enjoyed a variety of program. Philippine Bamboo dance was also enjoyable and thrilling with fast and slow movements by the participants.
Chinese and Taiwanese calligraphy also drew good crowd. People were seen carrying their names written on papers at these booths. They took these home as souvenir. Free health screenings by the Philippine Nurses Association of Indiana, Kitsuke "Kimono Dress Up" and Japanese Origami Demonstrations formed the part of interactive activities.
Indy Asian cuisine (Chinese), Seoul Fresh (Korean) and Filipino sweets and desserts were available  at restaurant vendors. Kids zone saw coloring, face painting and henna art.
Booth exhibitors were Asian American Alliance, Burmese American Community Institute (BACI), Barangay Club of Indiana (BCI), Costco, Department of Metropolitian Development, City of Indianapolis, Eyebrow Art, Familia Dental, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana. Immigrant Welcome Center, Indiana Association of Chinese American (IACA(m Indiana Civil Rights Commission,  Indiana Farm Burean Insurance, Indianapolis Chinese Community Center Inc (ICCCI), IDOA Division of  Supplier Diversity, International Marketplace Coalition, International Student Exchange, Japanese American Citizen League (Hoosier JACL), Korean American Association of Indiana, Minyo Club of Indianapolis, Nationalities Council of Indiana (NCI),m Philippine Nurses Association of Indianapolis, Neora International, Purude Asian American and Asian Resources and Culture Center, Roche, Sikh Educational and Cultural Society, Sri Lanka, SARI_SARI, Taiwanese American Association of Indianapolis and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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