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TCU 360

Students to hold carnival with South Asian customs

The Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium will be filled with sounds of Bollywood music and the smell of South Asian foods this Saturday evening.

The Students for Asian Intercultural Awareness plans to hold a Mela carnival Saturday to educate students about South Asian customs. The Mela will feature booths with demonstrations of henna tattoos, ethnic clothing, cricket presentations, traditional board games and more. Students from TCU’s Bollywood dance class will perform cultural songs and dances. Traditional snacks from various South Asian cultures will also be provided.

Rovina D’Souza, SAICA president, said the Mela would be a cultural gathering. She said the group wanted to have a fun, hands-on event for students to learn about South Asia. The event will involve traditions from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

“We want to immerse TCU students in the South Asian culture,” D’Souza said.

The Bollywood dance class, recently started by D’Souza, plans to perform to Jai Ho, a song from the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.” They have incorporated actual Bollywood dance steps into the routine, instead of using the non-traditional steps featured in the movie, said Priyanka Pramanik, SAICA treasurer and one of the performers.

She said preparing for the dance was exciting because some of the dancers had never been exposed to South Asian culture before.

“It has been a great experience teaching them, and to see them perform is going to be even more exciting,” Pramanik said.

“We started the Bollywood dance class so that we could have them perform at the Mela, though now we plan on continuing the class since people really enjoy it,” D’Souza said.

Tickets will be sold outside the library today from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. They can also be purchased outside the Mela on Saturday.

Proceeds from the Mela carnival will go toward Child Rights and You, America. The charity organization works to support children’s rights in India. They ensure that children get education and sanitation, among other things, D’Souza said.

The organization is also involved in the attempt to eradicate child marriages in India. Legal age for marriage in India is 18 for girls and 21 for boys. Although illegal, according to the CRY Web site, child marriage is widespread and accepted by much of Indian society. The site says that 60 percent of Indian girls will be married before their 18th birthday.

D’Souza said that as much money as possible will be donated to CRY America. The group hopes to donate a minimum of $200.

Ashlee Mitchell, a senior nursing major, said she was looking forward to attending the event.

“I’m really excited for the henna tattoos and the food. I have never gotten a henna tattoo before or tried South Asian food, so it should be a lot of fun,” Mitchell said.

She also said that having events that encourage cultural awareness and campus diversity was an important component of college life.

D’Souza said the event is from 5 p.m. till 8 p.m. and the performances will begin around 7 p.m.

SAICA Mela Carnival

Where: BLUU Auditorium

When: Nov. 7, 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Price: $7 per ticket

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