CHICAGO : The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago www.PCSChicago.org (PCS) presented their annual event “Rangla Punjab 2011” to celebrate Vaisakhi festival on Saturday April 23, 2011, at Copernicus Theater in Chicago. More than 250 performers rendered nearly 40 delightful acts in a five hour long show, attended by more than 1500 guests. Dr. & Mrs. Bhupinder Singh Saini of Pain Management Clinics in Wisconsin were the chief guests.
The immediate past, PCS chairperson Mohina Ahluwalia, and president Rajinder Singh Mago were honored with plaques for their services by the chief guest Dr. Bhupinder Singh Saini.
The program included Bhangra, Gidha, Punjabi songs and music, a short play, recognition of sponsors, guests, and the P.C.S. officials including announcement of the 2011 board of directors.
Bhangra and Gidha performers of all ages ranging from talented young boys and girls to exceptionally entertaining adult artists in a variety of colorful Punjabi costumes from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa performed their best on stage.
College Bhangra teams from the University of Chicago “Balle Bhangra,” Illinois Institute of Technology “Tech De Fateh,” and University of Iowa “Hawkeye Bhangra” were a delight to watch.
The Gidha dance moves by the colorfully dressed ladies from “Milwaukee Da Gidha” Team, and “Shaunkna Chicago Diyan,” the Chicago gidha team won the hearts of the audience.
PCS vice president Parminder Singh Ghotra welcomed the audience. The program opened with singing of a prayer (“shabad”) by a group of young children, "O, God give us the gift that we never turn away from doing the good deeds." (Deh Shiva Bar mohe ihe, shubh karman te kabhu na taron)
Honorable Dan Rutherford the Illinois State Treasurer, a special guest of honor made the opening remarks. “It is my 6th time at this PCS event. I have also attended PCS sports festivals. I came to you during my campaign and now that I have been elected I must come back to thank you - my friends and supporters. I really enjoy your shows and someday would love to learn Bhangra," said treasurer Dan Rutherford.
The program divided in four segments was emceed by Mona Bhalla, Dilraj Singh Sekhon & Pardeep Singh Deol, Manjit Singh Gill, Baljit Singh Sidhu & Surinder Singh Sangha.
A short play “Batwara” (Partition) with a message of unity was enacted by Gurmukh Singh Bhullar, Charanjit Singh, Baljit Singh Sidhu, Jasbir Kaur Man and others.
Mona Bhalla, Pammi Gill, Sukhnandan Singh Sukhi, Mahijit Virdi, Mansimran Singh, and Deep brothers Bhawandeep and Jasdeep sang melodious Punjabi songs with the accompaniment of professional musicians Hitesh Master, Ajay and Suresh.
Vaisakhi festival is the celebration of ending of harvest season, and beginning of a new year. It's a symbol of renewal. Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) has been organizing this traditional Punjabi cultural program "Rangla Punjab" for more than two decades. This is the single largest annual Punjabi cultural event in Chicago area that show cases the Punjabi performing arts and promotes the local community talent.
“It's purpose is to impart Punjabi culture into our next generation born and brought up here in America. It is also to unite the community living here through a common cultural celebration,” said Dr. Amarjit Singh PCS Chairman.
“Mere fact that more than 250 children were involved in showcasing their Punjabi culture is in itself a great achievement by PCS Chicago,” said Balwinder Singh PCS president.
P.C.S. also recognized its permanent Board of Governors and Board of Advisors.
P.C.S. Board of Directors for 2011 as announced are Dr. Amarjit Singh (Hon. Chairman), Balwinder Singh Girn (President), Baljit Singh Sidhu (Sr. V.P.), Parminder Singh Ghotra (V.P.), Surinder Singh Sangha (Exec. Secretary), Pardeep Singh Deol (Finance Secretary), Arvinder Singh Gakhal (Sports Director), Jatinderpal Singh Sangha (Youth Director), Gurmit Singh Dhillon (Inter-community Director).
Chairperson Dr. Amarjit Singh, President Balwinder Singh Girn and the PCS officials honored the Chief guests Dr. & Mrs. Bhupinder Singh Saini with a plaque for his support to P.C.S. Dr. Saini appreciated the work of PCS and it’s dedicated board members. Dr. Amarjit Singh pledged his support to PCS for the next ten years.
The 2011 president of Sikh Religious Society Palatine Harkirat Singh Sandhu made an appearance and conveyed the Vaisakhi greetings to the audience and said that one should be true to his or her own faith no matter what their faith is.
The program was sponsored by Dr. Narinder Singh Grewal, Dr. Bhupinder Singh Saini, Dr. Amarjit Singh, Jaidev Singh Bhattal, Nimrata K. Singh, Mrs. Bhagwant Kaur Sidhu, Mohina Ahluwalia, Jarnail Singh Lail, Harinder Singh M.I.T.S., Amrit Mittal (NY Life Insurance), Jasbir S. Suga, Amrik Singh (Amar Carpets), Kashmir Singh, Dalbir Singh, Jarnail & Joga Singh (New Hampshire), Lakhvir & Jassi Sahota, Dr. Harjinder Singh Khaira, Dr. Kamaljit Singh Girn, and Balwinder Singh Girn among many others.
The program was organized by Dr. Amarjit Singh, Balwinder Singh Girn, Baljit Singh Sidhu, Parminder Singh Ghotra, Surinder Singh Sangha, Pardeep Singh Deol, Arvinder Singh Gakhal, Jatinderpal Singh Sangha, Gurmit Singh Dhillon, Thakar Singh Basati, Manjit Singh Gill, Sukhmel Singh Atwal, Mohinderjit Singh Saini, Harwinder Paul Singh Lail, Sunny Kular, and Onkar Singh Sangha, Jasbir Singh Palia, Bhinder Singh Pamma, Amarjit K. Atwal, Ronny Kular, Yadwinder Singh Grewal, and Rajinder Singh Mago.
The young community children performers were trained by many P.C.S. volunteers and items coordinators for the last three months, and many volunteers helped in organizing and running the show including Navjot Singh Multani, Jeevan Singh Gill, Puneet Singh, Sukhwinder Kaur, Amrit Kaur, Jeetu kaur, Nisha Saini, Puneet Singh, Navrang Bajwa, Bikram Chohan, Jaskarn Saini, Robin Ghotra, Amrit Girn.
The next P.C.S. participation programs are: “Passport to the World – India” at Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier on May 15, 2011.
“Asian American Festival” at Daley Plaza Chicago May 16 to 20, 2011.
The next P.C.S. organized programs are "Punjabi Youth Graduation & Scholarship Night" on June 12, 2011 at Viceroy of India Banquest in Lombard, IL. All the Punjabi graduates are requested to register with PCS.
A two day sports event, "P.C.S. Basketball Tournament" on August 6, 2011, and "P.C.S. Sports Festival" on August 7, 2011 including Kabaddi, soccer, volleyball tournament, track and field activities, fun games and food at Centennial Park, Addison IL.
The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is a not-for-profit community service organization devoted to promoting Punjabi culture, language, performing arts, education, good citizenship, healthy life style, and sports in the metropolitan Chicago area.