Heritage India Association of NC (Raleigh, NC)

HIANC works to preserve and promote Indian cultural heritage among people of Indian origin and others in the Triangle area through via performing arts and educational programs. HIANC presents three main events: Heritage India Festival in April, Gandhi Jayanti in October, and Children's Day in November. It also coordinates Indian participation in the International Festival of Raleigh in October. The Heritage India Festival features group dances and dance competition, musical presentations, and art competition. Gandhi Jayanti celebration presents classical dance performances, singing of Gandhi's favorite bhajans, talks on Gandhi's life and philosophy, essay competition for children, and Gandhi quiz in which both children and parents team up. HIANC participation in the International Festival of Raleigh includes folk and Bollywood dances by children, teens and adults, cultural exhibit, an Indian bazaar and Sidewalk café, as well as cooking and dance demonstrations. The Children's Day presents performances by children of all ages. Children become Emcees – manage and present the program that includes classical and folk dances, group musical presentation, art sessions, Bollywood dance competition and Teen talent recognition.


Past Events

2018 Heritage India Festival: a Review - April 28, 2018
By Yash Garg, HIANC President

Heritage India Association of North Carolina celebrated the 2018 Heritage India Festival on April 28, 2018 at HSNC Cultural Hall. Mr. Sajjan Agarwal, CEO GreenHawk Corp, Chief guest, duly introduced by Dr. Harish Chander, did the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Thereafter, Mr. Agarwal, along with other honored guests, Mrs. Saroj Sharma, Morrisville Council Members Steve Rao and Satish Garimella, Morrisville Mayor TJ Cawley, Cary Council Member Ken George and Mr. Ron Sanyal performed the Lamp Lighting Ceremony. Morrisville Mayor TJ Cawley read out the Proclamation declaring April 28 as Heritage India Day in the town of Morrisville. An invocatory Kathak dance “Ganesh Vandana," choreographed by Roopa Luktuke, was presented by 10-12 age group students of Taal Harmony School of Dance. Thereafter, Mrs. Yash Garg, HIANC president welcomed the audience and introduced the Program Chair, Sangeeta Nayak and Emcee Subhadra Pati. Seema Viswanathan presented Teen and Adult Classical Dance Competitions which showcased creative talents of the performers. We also invited an internationally acclaimed artist, Dr. Rohitha Eswer, who is visiting from India, for a special classical Bharatnatyam performance that added a new dimension to the program.

This year's celebration presented a variety of dances from regional folk to Bollywood and from modern to classical dances for general program as well as Dance Competitions performed by teams of highly skilled youngsters, teens and adults; in each dance Competition category, a Heritage trophy was given to the best dance group, The program reflected the traditions and vibrancy of Indian heritage and brought out cultural sentiments of the Indian Americans living in the Triangle Area to the fore. The theme of this year's festival was “Pragati". With parents' appreciation for the kids' enthusiasm and efforts for the celebration, we hope to raise the public profile of the heritage dances.

Mamta Shah with her Dance Group & Trophy

A stunning adult fashion show choreographed by Sangeeta Nayak as well as a beautiful song presented by award-winning artist Divya Bhatnagar -- were cheered by the audience. We thank Dr. Pratap Challa, a specialist physician from Duke Eye Center with two other physicians Dr. Daniel Wu, MD and Dr. Henry Feng, MD offered a free Eye Camp from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Many of the festival goers availed the opportunity to get their eyes checked free of charge. Heritage Award Ceremony recognized the contributions of the 2018 Honorees:
1. Dr. Selene G. Parekh & Mrs. Zankhna Parekh received “Heritage Award for Excellence in the Medical Field";
2. Dr. Vandana Devalapalli, was recognized as the 2018 Community Ambassador;
3. Gauri Singh Puri received the 2018 Heritage Award for Excellence in Performing Arts and Filmmaking.
Two Kids' Art Competition sessions were also offered. Heritage trophy was given for the best art in both categories: 5-8 Age group and 9-12 Age group, the competition supervised by a talented teen Shreya Sahoo. By all accounts, 2018 Heritage India Festival was a splendid success.

2017 Heritage India Festival: a Review - April 29, 2017
By Yash Garg, HIANC President

Heritage India Association of North Carolina celebrated 2017 Heritage India Festival on April 29th at the HSNC Cultural Hall, Morrisville. After introductory remarks by Yash Garg, HIANC President, and lamp lighting by Mr. Govind Chandak & other honored guests, the program began with a Puja dance by Deesha Parikh and Roshni Desai followed by Morrisville Mayor Mark Stohlman and Lori Bush, Cary Council Representative reading out the Proclamations declaring April 29th as Heritage India Festival in the Town of Morrisville and Cary.

Sangeeta Nayak, Program Chair, with two other Emcees, Viral Trivedi presented seamless continuous programming and kept the audience spellbound with a variety of dance performances -- ranging from classical to folk, fusion and Bollywood dances, which reflected the traditions and dynamism of Indian heritage. A good mix of cultural performances offered a chance to event-goers to learn about the regional cultural peculiarities and similarities. While all the “Bhartanatyam" dances and Bollywood dances showcased the creative talents of the performers as well as of choreographers – a regional folk dance “Tulunadu Vallabhava" (see picture) from Karnataka and a spectacular performance by kids “Hanuman Chalisa Dance Recital" – both choreographed by Seema Viswanath -- won loud acclaims from the audience.

Dance competition brought out the local talent star performers in two age categories: 1st: 9-12 Group -- “Angels and Devils" won the trophy in tie with “Dance Mania", both choreographed by Deepti Chavan ; 2nd: Teens Group – Winning dance by Omsquad, choreographed by Naina and Neeti Acharya.

Teen Dance Winners

In musical presentations: A devotional song & “Love you Zindagi" a Bollywood number sung by students of SUR SUMIRAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC; a presentation by by award winning singer Divya Bhatnagar; and a song by 11 years old Swar Dave – were highly appreciated.

9-12 Winning Dance Performers

The Duke Eye Center's physicians presented a Free Eye Camp. The 2017 Heritage Award ceremony was held with due éclat. For Grand Finale, Seema Viswanath performed a spectacular Kathak dance. Thanks to the hard work of all the Committee members, the event was a great success.

Honored Guests at the Heritage Festival

2016 Children's Day Celebration: A Review - November 12, 2016
By Yash Garg, HIANC President

Heritage India Association of North Carolina celebrated Children's Day on November 12, at HSNC Cultural Hall. Mr. Govind Chandak, Chief Guest, along with Mrs. Saroj Sharma, Mr. Steve Rao, and Mr. Ron Sanyal performed the lamp-lighting ceremony. Morrisville Mayor Mark Stohlman read out the Proclamation declaring November. 12, 2016, as Children's Day in the town of Morrisville.

Lamp Lighting

Children's Day is supposed to be a Joyous and fun day for children. But it is also a day to celebrate their artistic talents, leadership and organizational qualities. This annual celebration of Children's Day offers an excellent opportunity to children to work as organizers, managers, volunteers and performers, as well as develops in them leadership skills and team spirit. This year's celebration presented a variety of dances from folk to Bollywood and from modern to classical dances performed by teams of highly skilled youngsters, as well as musical performances by Somya Kochar and Shreyas Raychaudhuri and an Indian fashions show by children who were dressed in stunning regional costumes of India. Three teens—Amith Jagannath, Charvi Pande, and Mehak Aggarwal were the Emcees. While Sangeeta Naik supervised and planned the overall program and Dance Competition presentation, Yash Garg coordinated the General program items in collaboration with youth members Naina Acharya and Divya Bhatnagar & creative choreographers-- Richa Gupta, Sridevi Jagannath, Sangeeta Nayak, Aruna Bhatnagar, Padma Rao, Veena Birajdar, Vinita Kochar, Vandana Ranjan, and Smirithi Selvraj. HIANC appreciates their contribution to the success of the program!

Children's Performance

HIANC hosted dance competition in three categories – 5-8 age group kids (winner: “Kala Chashma, “ choreographed by Sanskriti Inamdar), 9-12 age group (Winner: “Bhangra Boys," choreographed by Jayashri Kuntamukkla), and teens group (Winner: “Bollywood Yatra," choreographed by Shweta Bhatnagar). These winning groups were awarded Heritage Trophies. With Parents' appreciation for the kids' enthusiasm & efforts for the celebration, we hope to raise the public profile of Heritage dances. Three teens -- Savarni Sanka for excellence in Academics, Bhairavi Puvlindran for excellence in Performing Arts, & Charvi Pande for excellence in Community Services -- were recognized at the Awards Ceremony during the program. Mr. Prakash Devalapalli & Dr. Vandana Devalapalli gave them copies of Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Gene: An Intimate History. By all accounts. the 2016 Children's Day Celebration was a splendid success; the credit for which goes to HIANC Team's excellent planning and realistic scheduling. Thanks also go to Sangeeta Nayak & the Emcees for the smooth running of the entire program, to Aruna Bhatnagar for compiling the entire music for the show, to Vidya Arvapalli for stage decoration, and to Naresh Giri and Dr. Harish Chander for ticket sales.

Teen Dance Competition Winners

-- Photography by Palani Mohan

Gandhi Jayanti 2016 - October 2, 2016
By Yash Garg, HIANC President

Since the installation of Gandhi Statue at the Marbles Kids museum, Raleigh in 2007, celebrating the Gandhi Jayanti has become a tradition as it brings out Mahatma Gandhi's legacy—his message of peace and harmony among nations and people. The Heritage India Association of North Carolina celebrated 2016 Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 to mark Gandhi's 147th birth anniversary. The celebration began with garlanding the Gandhi Statue. The assembly then paid their tributes by singing Gandhi's favorite bhajan “Raghupati Raghav Rajaram." A short cultural program followed in Venture Hall. The Emcees introduced chief guest, Elaine Marshall, NC Secretary of the State. She spoke on the contemporary relevance of Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence. Other honored guests included Mayor of Morrisville Mark Stohlman, Morrisville Mayor Pro-tem Steve Rao, Dr. Jagdish Narayan, NCSU Distinguished Professor, and Ron Sanyal, NC Elector. There were several performances as well as a Gandhi lookalike contest for kids.

Morrisville Mayor Mark Stohlman and Secretary of the State Elaine Marshall at the Gandhi Statue