hi INDiA Copyright 2020
HI INDIA NEWS DESK
CHICAGO, IL – For Punjabi community of Chicago, especially the youth, the flagship annual event of the Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) www.PCSChicago.org “Rangla Punjab 2021” to celebrate Vaisakhi festival on April 25 was a welcome breath of fresh air, albeit virtual. The program was free of charge.
It was heartbreaking for many when “Rangla Punjab 2020” had to be cancelled in the last stages of performance practices due to the Covid 19 pandemic, for the safety of our community and public, and to be compliant with the government guidelines.
“Well, we were not the only ones, we had company, and it was the right thing to do,” said Balwinder Singh Girn, PCS president 2020.
“Because of popular demand from the community members suffocating in the covid lockdowns and looking for activities to keep our spirits high the PCS board decided to go ahead with Rangla Punjab 2021 virtually,” said Parvinder Singh Nanua the PCS president 2021.
It was the first virtual Rangla Punjab show, but it wasn’t the first Zoom session for PCS because it already had one for its annual “Graduation Night 2020” zoom event under its belt last year.
Parents supported and children started practicing at home or in their backyards within their family immunity bubble, with items like Bhangra, Giddha dances and songs to perform at Rangla Punjab 2021.
Nearly 50 participants presented 20 performances of songs, dances and music including an elementary schooler playing Punjabi “Dhol” no less skillfully than a regular musician.
More than 100 households, especially the participants, their siblings, parents and grandparents joined in to watch and cheer the performers. The program started with a prayer song and followed with Bhangra, Giddha, Dhol music and Punjabi folk songs to remind the audience of their culture from back home.
Gurpreet Singh Sidhu, a member PCS Board Directors was the technical director and worked persistently hard to produce the show.
The program started with the opening remarks to welcome the audience by the PCS Executive Secretary Bhupinder Singh Dhaliwal.
A memorial to pay tributes to the eight innocent victims of the horrific shooting on April 15 at the FedEx facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana was held followed by a moment of silence. The remembrance also included our local community members Bhagwant Kaur Sidhu (PCS Sponsor), Amolak Singh Jammu (Founder of the “Punjab Times” weekly newspaper), Parminder Singh Ghotra (member PCS Board of Advisors), and Amarpal Singh Matharu (Past PCS Board Member) who passed away recently. The somber ceremony was conducted by member PCS Board of Governors Rajinder Singh Mago.
Navtej Singh Sohi, a member PCS Board of directors who also helped with the production, presented Rajn Sandhu’s, a well-known Punjabi singer from California, recorded prayer-song, and several other children’s items.
Samreet Dhillon and Saihaj Sidhu were next youth emcees who spoke like pros, presented six items of songs and dances that the audience loved.
Next on the program were the remarks by PCS president Parvinder Singh Nanua and PCS Chairman Kevindeep Singh Atwal who acknowledged the praiseworthy work done by the participants, coordinators, parents, presenters and the PCS supporters.
Next, Gurlal Singh Bhattal member PCS Board of Directors assumed the responsibility of announcing a recorded song performance by the acclaimed Punjabi singer from California Jaspinder Raina. Gurlal emceed a few more hit items of the show. He was followed by the PCS Board of Director Bikram Singh Sohi to be the final emcee to announce several performances to an impressive closing.
PCS officials, items coordinators, parents and volunteers worked very hard to train our youth and form teams of young boys and girls to perform Punjabi cultural dances. During these practice sessions and “Rangla Punjab” season the Punjabi children come closer to Punjabi language, culture and community. They also develop long term friendships. This indeed is a community building effort.
The program ended with the closing remarks by the PCS past president Balwinder Singh Girn, who thanked the audience, the participants, the items coordinators, parents, PCS officials and sponsors and all others who worked so hard to make this event a memorable event.
All the performers were rewarded with gift cards as a token of appreciation for their participation in Rangla Punjab 2021.
Vaisakhi festival is the celebration of the ending of harvest season in Punjab, and beginning of a new growth cycle. It is a symbol of renewal.
“Rangla Punjab” is the single largest annual Punjabi cultural variety show in the Chicago area that promotes the local community talent and showcases the Punjabi culture and performing arts to a family audience.
PCS had formed its year 2021 working board of directors as follows.
Kevindeep Singh Atwal (Hon. Chairman), Parvinder S. Nanua (President), Manjeet S. Bhalla (Vice President), Bhupinder Singh Dhaliwal (Executive Secretary), Navtej Singh Sohi (Asstt. Executive Secretary), Bikram Singh Sohi (Finance Director), Gurlal Singh Bhattal (Assistant Finance Director), Gurpreet Singh Sidhu (Inter-Community Director), Parmjot Singh Parmar (Sports Director),
The program was organized by the year 2021 PCS board of Directors named above and the other PCS officials, Balwinder S. Girn, Harwinder Paul Singh Lail, Vick Singh, Surinder S. Palia, Sukhmel Singh Atwal, Mohinderjit Singh Saini, Jasbir Singh Palia, Amarjit K. Atwal, Bhinder S. Pamma, Gurmit S. Dhillon, Yadwinder S. Grewal, Kevindeep Singh Atwal and Rajinder Singh Mago.
The upcoming PCS event is virtual “PCS Graduation Night 2021,” which is slated to be on Sunday, July 18, 2021.
All High School and college graduates from our community are encouraged to participate for recognition and awards. You can register at www.pcschicago.org .
To help with the COVID relief efforts in India, during this COVID CRISIS in India, you can donate through PCS at http://www.pcschicago.org/index.php/covid-aid
P.C.S. is a non-profit all volunteer community service organization devoted to promoting Punjabi culture, performing arts, education, sports, and good citizenship in the Chicago Metropolitan area and beyond.