CANOGA PARK, Calif. — The India Association of Los Angeles celebrated India’s Republic Day, with close to 300 people from all walks of life attending, on Jan. 23 at the Royal Delhi Palace here, according to a press release.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion as guests of honor included Congressman Brad Sherman; John Lee, chief of staff from Councilman Mitch Englander's office; and Lancaster city councilman Raj Malhi, all of whom were honored by IALA’s vice president of public relations Sunil Agrawal, finance vice president Harbans Bawa, and board of directors member Raman Chadha.
Matthew Vallecilla, field representative from Sherman's office, presented the U.S. flag and certificate from Capitol Hill to IALA president Vineet Puri. Sherman, who arrived later, said that events like these showcase the culture and values of India and strengthens Indo-U.S. relations.
The show had begun with the American national anthem sung by twin sisters Rama and Rucha Kelkar, followed by the Indian national anthem. IALA chairman Ravi Grewal and president Vineet Puri welcomed all in their opening speeches.
The organization’s vice president of culture Nalini Natarajan, along with Kavita Puri, Manjeet Wahi, Nisha Chetal, and Kiran Kamboj, emceed the program, which featured karaoke songs by Chilli Beatz artists Rama, Ruchi, Chandramohan, and Swati.
One of the highlights of the evening was the various dance numbers performed by artists from "Bollywood Beyond" Payal Wadhawan and Chetna, and a Fire/Light dance by artists from the Los Angeles region.
The evening ended with the attendees dancing to Bollywood dance numbers DJ'ed by Sunil Puri.