Chicago IL: The Telugu speakers, residing in the States of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, celebrated Dussehra and Deepavali, under the aegis of Tri-States Telugu Association (TTA), a not-for-profit organization, at Samarathi Auditorium, Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago.
The religious fervor, scintillating cultural show, and fierce competition for sports trophies were the hallmarks of the celebrations. The program kick started with the traditional lighting of lamp by the Board of Directors of the TTA, which was followed by the singing of the Indian National Anthem.
The event was very well organized by TTA Board of Directors by serving traditional mouthwatering dinner BODs are Jagadish Kanuru, Aparna Ayyalaraju, Bhaskara Reddy Karri, Chandini Duvvuri, Veeraswamy Achanta, Ramakrishna Korrapolu, Rajani Akurati, Hemanth Pappu, Vaidehi Sriram, Lakshmi Duvvapu, Neelu Mylavarapu, Ravi Tammana, Swapna Pula, Pranati Kaligotla, Prasad Jasti, Prasad Maruvada, Srinath Vasireddy, Radhika Garimella and Raghu Moturi.
“Dussehra and Deepawali symbolize triumph of light over darkness. These festivals teach that those who pledge themselves to the path of virtue emerge victorious”, said Chandini Duuvuri, Board Member, and TTA in her inaugural address.
She stated that while getting rid of the ‘demons’, present in the society, is important in its own right, the first and foremost priority for each and every individual is to grapple with the evils within him and succeed in this challenging task.
“The need of the hour is to understand the true message of these festivals and implement it in its true and total frame of reference in our daily lives, rather than merely getting bogged down with traditional rituals”, she added.
The one-hour long chanting of Lalitha Sahasranama was greatly instrumental for people in understanding the shallowness of the present-day materialistic approach to life and in filling their minds with spirituality and devotion to mankind.
“Mere chanting of the Lalitha Sahasranama is not enough; one should know its meaning in order to win over the evil forces within him”, urged one of the priests at the venue. The mesmerizing dandia dance by men and women together, their traditional costumes, toe-tapping music, and distinct sound of brightly decorated wooden sticks enthralled the audience.
A highlight of the celebrations was the high-voltage cultural extravaganza, in which about 130 singers, dancers, and mimicry artists participated. About 30 exhilarating performances of various genres of dances showcased the full spectrum of colorful life of Telugu people.
The cultural program also involved the presentation of classical, semi-classical, and light music, both from Bollywood and Tollywood movies. The singers not only entertained matured audience, but also connected equally with young generation with hit numbers. The musical band, which played soulful melodies, left the entire audience swaying to its magic. Even the elderly people gave in to the festive mood, took the dance floor, matched the expert dancers, step for step, and provided a pleasant surprise to their younger counterparts and kids.
A big highlight of the evening was mimicry by Maruthi Satyavolu, which was a great mix of humor and voice modulation, imitating a variety of Telugu politicians and film artists representing the last three generations. Another unique feature of the event was the highly competed Chess and Tennis Tournaments. In the Chess Tournament, Shyam Ganesh and Shreya Bhagi won the in the adults’ category, the first and second prizes went to Naveen Nagilla and Sameer Karthik Bhagi respectively. In the Tennis Tournament, Tejrupakekkurthi and Rakesh Avadanula won the first and second prizes respectively in the kids’ category. In the adults’ category, Srinivasaekkurthi and Subramanian Kandasamy won the first prizes and Vijay Sivashanmugasundaram and Vijay S, won the second prizes.
“While Telugu people participated in the event, along with their families and friends, in huge numbers, the representation of people speaking different languages was quite considerable”, said Aparna Ayyalaraju, who handled the media. “The message of Deepavali and Dussehra, which has got universal relevance, attracted the audience, irrespective of caste, creed, and religion”, she added.
TTA thanked all the participants, attendees, and sponsors for their support in making the event a huge success during the busy Navarathri season. TTA also welcomed new members/participants from the Chicagoland to register on its website www.telugu.org and show support to its upcoming events. Tri-State Telugu Association, affiliated with Telugu Association of North America, has been effectively addressing the issues associated with the educational, economic, and social development of its members, including their culture and heritage, since its inception in 1984.