Bathukamma (Flower Festival) and Dasara Sambaralu 2015
Cumming (Atlanta), Georgia: Religious fervor and gaiety marked the annual Bathukamma-Dasara Sambaralu, organized by the Telangana Development Forum (TDF), Atlanta Chapter, at Piney Grove Middle School, here on Saturday, October 10, 2015.
Hundreds of Telangana women living in the Metropolitan Atlanta area showed their true colors early this Fall, decked in traditional splendor! From young to middle-aged, they arrived at the venue with their flamboyant flower stacks that embodied Maha Gowri, the goddess who, in Telengana folklore, is revered as life-giver and a symbol of ideal womanhood. The decibel levels were high and the spirit festive at the venue as the ladies danced energetically around the flower mounds to devotional Bathukamma songs. It was a pleasant sight to see girls as young as 5 joining their mothers and sisters in their ode to Mother Nature! The 8-hour event clearly surpassed the attendance of any Bathukamma event in preceding years in Atlanta as over 1,600 people living in the Greater Atlanta area thronged the venue.
The event started with a sumptuous meal sponsored by Suvidha Indo-Pak Groceries and Hotbreads of Alpharetta, followed by cultural programs comprising classical dance, songs, and dance medleys. Swapna Kaswa and Madhavi Alladi were capable emcees. Apart from local talent, the audience were entertained by celebrity TV and mimicry artiste Lohith Kumar, Telangana singers Swarnakka, Swaroopa and Tirupathi along with local artistes Srinivas Durgham and Janardhan Pannala.
Shami Pooja was performed to mark the ensuing Dussehra festival, following which all the attendees exchanged respectful greetings. Participants played kolattam during the event with great energy and enthusiasm.
The TDF jury consisting of Kavitha Sripathi, Jayasree Kadire, and Anuradha Baddam were all praise for the artistry on display in the floral forms of Goddess Gowri and gave away prizes to several women for their exquisite Bathukammas. There were games conducted at the end of the event and prizes were distributed.
The occasion was graced by TDF president Vishu Kalavala along with other board members. Speaking on the occasion, the Board of Trustees stressed the importance of the Bathukamma festival and acknowledged the role of TDF in the Telangana movement as well as the developmental and charity activities TDF is organizing back home in Telangana.
The organizing team expressed their gratitude to local community organizations GATA, TAMA, IFA and national community organizations NATA, ATA, TANA and Deccan Abroad who co-hosted the event.
Dr. Bharath Naravetla, who coordinated the various volunteer teams, attributed the success of the event to their hard work over 8 weeks to ensure a memorable festival.
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