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Prayerful Reflection: Kanwal Prakash “KP” Singh, A.Gary Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA, June 27, 2019


Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis was buzzing with excitement of beautiful Asian sights and sounds, fabulous and rocking music and dance performances that offered introductions to rich and magnificent Asian arts, cultural traditions, and the heritage of fellow Hoosiers. The occasion was the 12th Asian Fest organized by the Asian American Alliance, Inc.
The Asian Fest 2019 showcased Hoosier Asian cultures and fine traditions with beautiful displays and creative interactive experiences: fabulous fashions, traditional music presentations, ancient and popular dance performances that included the Korean K-Pop; Jenny Bhupatkar and the Bollywood Beats with adult and young dancers; performances by other Hoosier Asian groups; honoring of outstanding Asian high school students; guest appearance by Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders; and other fun and exciting activities. The Festival highlighted and introduced us to this year’s featured country: South Korea.


The Festival headliner, internationally-acclaimed Danish-Punjabi-Hoosier singer and dancer, Anita Lerche, treated the multicultural and multi-generational crowd with a famous devotional Gujarati song and later to a medley of Punjabi and Indian folkdances. Many guests delightfully joined Anita in the robust Punjabi Bhangra dance that rocked the Grand Hall of Indiana State Museum. Cultures and generations coming together in the Hoosier Heartland and doing Punjabi Bhangra dance with Anita was a major Festival highlight.


Throughout the afternoon, families and friends enjoyed a special dining experience with ethnic food from area restaurants on the Promenade along the Canal. Some took advantage of a health check-up at the Philippines Nurses Association of Indiana booth. People enjoyed the cultural, civic, educational and business displays and interacted with Hoosier Asian leaders and others in attendance. The children made origami and saw the art of masterful calligraphy. Families took photos with Hoosier Asians in their colorful and festive traditional dresses. There was much to nurture the spirit and celebrate our City and State and a wonderful opportunity to meet new friends and take home favorite memories to share.
The Asian Fest 2019 was a great success at many levels: learning opportunities and hands-on experience   in several cultural, information, and interactive booths; a record diverse multi-generational and multicultural attendance (nearly 5,000); insights into traditional ancient arts and the contemporary adaptations; special attention to children activities; and a free health check-up area to draw attention to matters of health. The Indiana State Museum venue provided a beautiful welcoming environment.


The Asian Fest, an annual signature celebration of the Asian American Alliance, Inc. (AAAI) was made possible by the generous support and collaboration of a number of Asian Fest sponsors, distinguished and dedicated Board Members, leaders of participating Hoosier Asian groups, performing artists, local television stations and social media postings, and by volunteers and friends. They all contributed to the success of the Asian Fest 2019. Rupal Thanawala serves as the President of the AAAI.

The Asian Fest was much more than spectacular performances and introductions to Asian cultures. It is about mainstreaming, future leaders, and unleashing new ideas, energy, and culture of cooperation with a communities that are our home. We are witnessing an active and engaged international community; seeing leaders of ethnic groups and traditions networking with other groups, building a sense of pride in our City and State. As the Hoosier Asians see themselves as valued partners, and their culture, interests, and future as an integral part of the community fabric, they will be inspired to engage, contribute, and participate in critical initiatives and services with a greater sense of pride. The festivals bring people together and add to the happiness index of communities and thus could go a long way in making our cities and States as attractive destinations for visitors, for creative involvements, and new investments.