HomeAmericasCommunitySMAP Celebrates Shiv Jayanti In SoCal

SMAP Celebrates Shiv Jayanti In SoCal

SMAP Celebrates Shiv Jayanti In SoCal

SMAP Celebrates Shiv Jayanti In SoCal

India-West Staff Reporter

LONG BEACH, CA – On February 25, the SMAP Foundation organized Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Jayanti at the Jordan High School here. The festivities commenced with a spirited performance of the traditional Marathi Dhol Tasha by a group of enthusiastic young men and women, accompanied by a captivating dance from a group of Lezim performers. Following the outdoor celebrations, the Shiv Jayanti festivities moved inside the theater.

Approximately 800 people gathered inside the theater, where SMAP President Ashok Madan welcomed everyone. Vijay Patil, the founder of SMAP Foundation, provided a brief introduction to SMAP, highlighting the organization’s 250 celebrations worldwide. He summarized SMAP’s mission as promoting unity, leadership, and community services, utilizing Indian national heroes as role models.

The ‘350 committee’ from SMAP presented plans for the grand 3-day Shiv Rajyabhishek event scheduled from June 21 to 23. An announcement was made regarding the publication and release of a coffee table book during the celebration of the 350th Anniversary of the Coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Attendees were encouraged to participate in this memorable book by reserving pages for their profiles or business advertisements.

Artist and choreographer Vinaini Jayasinghe served as the emcee for the night, skillfully ensuring the smooth flow of activities. The evening included traditional lamp lighting, singing of the national anthems of the USA and India, and cultural and patriotic dance performances by groups led by Manisha Sathe, Sonali Bhave, and Paulomi Pandit.

Well known actor Girja Shankar, known for portraying Dhritarashtra in the Mahabharata serial, graced the evening as the Chief Guest.

Dr. Deepinder Singh, the keynote speaker, shared insights about Maharaja Ranjit Singh, emphasizing the great warrior’s success as a ruler due to his love for humanity and equal respect for all faiths. Indian military veterans Major Gurjeet Singh and Captain R.D. Singh were honored with plaques, and sponsors and key organizers were acknowledged for their support.

The main event featured a captivating drama depicting the life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, presented by the Los Angeles Film and Theatre Arts. Despite being amateur artists, the participants delivered a mesmerizing performance that had the audience in pin-drop silence. The drama concluded with live singing by Punjabi singer Gagandeep Singh Sidhu and lively Bhangra performances by Blitz Bhangra, prompting the audience to join in the celebration.

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