Chicago, Dec 16: In the midst of the celebration of 69th Christmas Around the World and Holiday Light event at the Museum of Science and Industry, the Mangalorean Konkan Christian’s Association (MKCA/ USA) proudly presented variety of cultural activities to showcase the rich cultural heritage of India. This is the Eighth program in succession presented by MKCA, USA, at this cultural jamboree. In this mega event people from different ethnic backgrounds representing more than 50 countries from Astria to Zambia have participated. It was a unique opportunity for MKCA, USA, to represent India in this mega event.
The Museum halls are decked, holiday singers and dancers fuel the festivities, and the forest of decorated trees greets everyone at the Museum.. The Museum’s 45-foot Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments, and it is surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees representing 50 countries – beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities.
As usual, the President of MKCA/USA Ms. Queenie Mendonca, welcomed the audience present. In her brief welcome speech, she described how rich and diverse is the Indian cultural heritage; and informed the audience that the Christianity originated in India through St. Thomas, the Apostle of Jesus, about 2000 years back – much before it was spread to many of the European countries. Rev. Fr. Richie Vaz, SVD, Chairperson of the program, presented well-rounded message about the birth of Jesus Christ and the message of Peace and Eternal Life. In his message he said “Jesus Christ, a messenger of peace, was the Christmas Gift from God for all of us. Let us renew and share that peace and joy among ourselves and especially among those who deprived of this gift”.
The cultural program was initiated by singing “The Star-sprangled Banner”, the US national anthem by Crystal Rodrigues, who mesmerized the audience with her deep melodious voice. This was followed by live Tableau of “Birth of Jesus Christ”, intertwined with Dances from Kalapriya Dance School and Utkala Dance Center. The MKCA, USA members presented unique Konkani Christmas Carols during the Tableau. Ms. Daphne Fernandes gave special touch to the Carols by playing the Piano. The Odissi Dance and especially, the Lord of Universe Dance by Utkala Dance Center gave a special meaning to this “Birth of Jesus Christ” tableau. The Kalapriuya Dance Academy presented the up-beat dances of Bangra and Dandia. All the dances presented depicted different facets of classical and regional nuances of Indian sub-continent.
In its conclusion all the participants of the program sang the Indian National Anthem, the “Jana Gana Mana”. The compeer of the program, Lawrence Mascarenhas, Immediate Past President of MKCA, thanked the members and audience for their wonderful participation. He specially thanked Pramita Jain, Artistic Director of Kalapriya Dance Academy and Ipsita Satpathy, Artistic Director of Utkala Dance Center for their great performance. He informed the audience present that MKCA is poised to celebrate its annual gala program of Nathal Fest (Christmas) on Saturday, December 18, 2010 and requested them to follow-up with mkcausa.org website for further information.