International Bhangra and Gidha Competition 2008" an Amazing
CHICAGO, Nov. 21, 2008
Rajinder Singh Mago
Chicagoans had a treat of their lifetime at "PCS Night 2008"
Dinner and Dance Banquet on Saturday, November 8, 2008, at the prestigious
Ballroom of Waterford Banquets and Convention Center, Elmhurst Illinois,
a suburb of Chicago. The event turned out to be a magnificent showcase
of Punjabi folk dances Bhangra and Gidha. This 7th. International
Bhangra and Gidha Dance Competition organized by Punjabi Cultural
Society of Chicago (PCS), (www.PCSChicago.org), was attended by
more than a thousand Punjabi, non-Punjabi and local audience.
“I am deeply impressed at the Punjabi talent present here.
I have never seen anything like this before. I fully enjoyed the
performances, they were all exceptional,“ said Ms. Susan Shin,
Director of Asian Affairs Office of the Governor of Illinois Rod
Dr. & Mrs. Bhupinder Singh Saini of Advance Pain Management
of Milwaukee Wisconsin were the chief guests and the Grand Sponsors
of the “PCS Night 2008”.
"I am pleased to see that our cultural heritage has taken
root in this country, and is in good hands of our next generation,"
said Dr. Bhupinder Singh Saini after he saw more than 250 young
university students, and professionals from all over USA & Canada
competing in this most popular P.C.S. event in Chicago.
"We are humbled by such an out pouring of support from our
community and the competing teams at this mega event. The whole
P.C.S. Chicago committee put in their best effort to make this incredible
event a huge success. It was like planning a grandiose youth festival
for college teams," said Amarjit Kaur Atwal, the outgoing P.C.S.
Seventh Annual PCS Chicago International Bhangra and Gidha Competition
an amazing event.
The program started with a candle lighting ceremony. Sixteen Bhangra
and Gidha teams from Cornell University New York, University of
Illinois Chicago, University of Georgia, Emory University Atlanta,
University of Southern California San Diego, Washington DC, Dallas
Texas, Milwaukee Wisconsin, California, Michigan, Toronto and Vancouver
Canada, were placed to compete for the honors at this competition.
Bhangra has caught on to international liking as was evident from
the fact that many of the college teams participants were non-Punjabis
including many local Americans and Pan-Asian Americans.
The program was jointly emceed by Manjit Singh Gill a Chicago Indian
and Punjabi radio host, and Rajinder Singh Mago, board of governors
of Punjabi cultural Society of Chicago.
"Surrey India Arts Club" Vancouver Canada
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- "Surrey India Arts Club" Bhangra dance team
from Vancouver Canada area, a highly traditional team
since 1975 with a superb live performance and colorful costumes
won the championship first place trophy and $3,500
- The second place trophy with a cash award of $1,500 sponsored
by Harinder Paul Singh of M.I.T.S. was won by “Nachde Shokeen”
Bhangra Academy also from Vancouver Canada area who also rendered
a dazzling performance.
- A young, energetic, and creative "Bull Dawg Da Raj"
team from University of Georgia at Athens won the 3rd position
trophy and $1000 cash sponsored by Dr. Gurbachan Singh Kapoor
at this "7th Annual PCS Chicago International Bhangra Competition."
In the Collegiate category “Bull Dawg Da Raj” University
of Georgia was placed first, “Karma Bhangra” of Emory
University Atlanta Georgia was placed second and “Cornell
Kudiyan” of Cornell University New York placed third. These
teams won huge trophies.
Other competing Bhangra teams who gave electrifying performances
were: “Lalkare Sheran De” Bhangra – DC Metro Punjabi
Arts Academy, Washington DC, “Karma Bhangra” - Emory
University Atlanta Georgia, “People’s Bhangra”
University of Southern California San Diego, “Cornell Kudiyan”
Cornell University Ithaca New York, and “UIC Bhangra”
“My wife and I come to see it every year, I won’t miss
it for anything,” said Younus Suleman the Asian American liaison
to US Congressman Bobby Rush.
"H.K. Giddha" Dallas Texas Wins Gidha Championship
- "H.K Gidha" a Gidha dance team from Dallas
Texas who stormed the stage with a dashing traditional
live singing performance and elaborate authentic Punjabi props
bagged the Gidha championship trophy and $3,500 cash award. "Raunak
Vehre Di" from Vancouver Canada last year’s championship
winners also rendered a superb performance and won the 2nd place
trophy and $1,500 cash award sponsored by Mohina and Diljit Ahluwalia.
"Koonjan" a Gidha team from Toronto Canada won the 3rd
place trophy and $1000 cash award.
Other competing Gidha teams who rendered noteworthy and excellent
performances were: “Giddhe Diyan Raaniyaan” from Chicago
and “Gidha Milwaukee Da” from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“The girls had a fantastic time on and off stage, it was
safe and the PCS hospitality was beyond expectations. The organizers
were extremely generous hosts and our experience was one to remember,"
said Sukhraj Boparai of “Koonjan” Gidha team from Brampton
More than $25,000 cash incentives was disbursed by PCS Chicago
amongst competing Bhangra & Gidha teams. Teams traveling farther
than 250 miles were provided $500 travel allowance, boarding and
lodging for the weekend, local transportation and generous hospitality
to all out of state teams by P.C.S.
“It is our third year contesting in this PCS competition
and we have more and more fun every year,” said Thalvinder
Sangha of “Karma Bhangra” Emory University team from
It was evident from the multi ethnic and multi cultural makeup
of the contesting teams that Punjabi Bhangra dance has captured
"We are trying to preserve the traditional Punjabi folk dances
in their authentic form, but to promote it at an international level
we need to encourage and include the non Punjabi participants also,
" said Rajinder Singh Mago, the P.C.S. Chicago International
Bhangra and Gidha competition coordinator.
"Our PCS team has been working very hard to promote and share
our Punjabi culture with mainstream through this and many other
such PCS programs," said Paul Lail, on behalf of Jarnail Singh
Lail the outgoing PCS chairman who is on work assignment in India.
"I am honored to be the chairman of P.C.S. Chicago, and I
will do my best to support all the P.C.S. events. The organization
is already doing a great job representing the Indian American community
in mainstream," said Harinder Paul Singh President of Management
& Information Technology Solutions, Inc. (MITS) the incoming
P.C.S. chairman for 2008-09.
"I am sure our PCS Officials team will take P.C.S. to still
a higher level of community service in coming years," said
Ronny S. Kular the newly appointed president of P.C.S. Chicago for
the years 2008-09.
Sunny Kular, Bhagwant Singh Sandhu, Bhinder Pamma, Harwinder Pal
Singh Lail, Parminder Singh Ghotra, and Ronny Kular honored the
sponsors of the event. Onkar Singh Sangha, Baljeet Kaur Sangha,
Mohinderjit Singh Saini and Balwinder Girn helped out with facilities,
transportation, security and hospitality.
The new 2008-2009 P.C.S. board was introduced by Bhagwant S. Sandhu
with Harinder Paul Singh - Honorary Chairman, Ronny S. Kular –
President, Thakar Singh Basati –Vice-President, Balwinder
Singh Girn -Executive Secretary, Parminder Singh Ghotra -Finance
Secretary, Baljit Singh Sidhu and Jaspal Singh Saini – Sports
Directors, Baljeet Kaur Sangha - Youth Affairs Director, Surinder
Singh Sangha – Inter Community Director.
Amarjit Kaur Atwal the outgoing president and his family, and Jarnail
Singh Lail the outgoing chairman were honored for their outstanding
services to the community through PCS.
In addition to the current board members, the PCS Board of Governors
(PCS Founding members & also past presidents) Thakar S. Basati,
Rajinder S. Mago, Manjit Singh Gill, Sukhmel S. Atwal, Mohinderjit
S. Saini, Bhagwant S. Sandhu, Sunny S. Kular, Harwinder Pal Singh
Lail, Onkar Singh Sangha, and PCS Board of Advisors Jasbir Singh
Palia, Bhinder Singh Pamma, Yadwinder Singh Grewal helped organize
this mega event.
Some of the coordinators and volunteers who helped are Kevindeep
S. Atwal, Pardeep S. Deol, Surinder S. Bhatia, Rishpal Singh, Jaswinder
S. Sapal CA, Lovedeep Singh Dulat, Beant Kaur Virk, Balwinder Kaur
Sekhon, Nimrata K. Singh, Surinder Kaur Basran, Vipan Kaler, Baljit
Kaur, Navraaz Basati, Kehar Singh Soodan and Shamila Khetarpal.
- The GRAND SPONSORS were Dr. & Mrs. Bhupinder
Singh Saini - Advance Pain Management Wisconsin.
- The PLATINUM SPONSORS were Dr. & Mrs. Narinder
Singh Grewal of Dhandra Investments California.
- The GOLD SPONSORS were American Family Insurance,
Bharat Matrimony.Com, Sunny S. Kular, Jarnail S Lail (W.W. Grainger
Inc.), Kehar S Soodan (Soodan & Associates), Punjabi Cultural
Society Of Kalamazoo MI, Punjabi American Youth Club Of Indiana,
Sikh Religious Society of Chicago, Dr. Gurbachan S Kapoor, and
Harinder Paul Singh (MITS).
- The SILVER SPONSORS Sarbjit S Bhandal, Dr.
Harjinder S Khaira, Jaidev S Bhathal (Punjab Auto Works), Nimrata
Singh, Sukhmel S Atwal, Mukhtiar S Multani, Sarbjeet S Saini,
Harcharan S Sidhu, Thakar S Basati, Surinder S Palia, Harvinder
S Ghotra (Mohinder Corp.), Harminder S Khaira, Harjinder S Sandhu
(Sandhu Petroleum), Balwinder Kaur Ghotra (Gagan Petroleum), Narinder
S Munder, Harpal S Tanda, GENCO Alumni Association of Chicago,
SAsiaOne Journal (www.SAsiaOne.com), Diljit & Mohina Ahluwalia,
Makhan Shah Labana Society Indiana, Surinder Jain (Viceroy of
India), Ranjit Singh & Harbhajan Singh (H.R. Petroleum), Jasbir
S Pelia (Taste of India), Tecma Engineering, Air India, and Skyway
Travel Chicago, .
Delicious Indian culinary cuisine was catered by Surinder Kumar
Jain of Viceroy of India Restaurants. After the competition the
Bhangra lovers danced to the DJ bhangra music and live Punjabi Dhol