Indian students stay in touch with roots with traditional, modern dance

While most people wait until Thanksgiving to acknowledge what they’re thankful for, the entire month of November gave the Indian Students Association cause for celebration.

Nov. 4 marked its 15th annual Diwali show, where more than 600 people attended to celebrate the Hindu New Year with dancing, singing and Indian cuisine.

“Diwali is such a learning experience,” said Kinjal Changela, a sophomore member of ISA. “I’m Indian, but I grew up in Saudi Arabia, so it makes me more aware

of my culture.”

Dancers not only performed traditional Indian dances, but also acts that featured songs and dances from different Bollywood movies.

“You can’t get through a Bollywood movie without at least one extravagant song and dance number,” said Harry Madhanagopal, president of the Indian Students Association.

The ISA dancers took their acts to Tampa on Nov. 11 for Tampafest, an annual Indian festival, where they competed against dance teams from other major universities in Florida, including the University of Florida and the University of South Florida.