(Trumbull, CT: January 25th, 2017): Indian Americans continue to come in large numbers and settle down in the state of Connecticut particularly in towns with reputations for excellent schools. The latest figures from the U.S. Census show 37,545 people of Indian origin living in the state, an increase of about 14,000 from 2000. In the last five years since the last census, there has been a very significant influx of Indian Americans in the Constitution state. The reasons to move here, Indian Americans say, remain education and opportunity.
This fast growing presence of the Indian American community was evident when nearly three hundred people from across the southern state of Connecticut came together to participate in the New Year and Christmas celebrations organized by the Malayalee Association of Southern Connecticut (MASCONN) on Saturday, January 1st, 2017 at Madison Middle School, Trumbull, CT.
The more than three-hours long cultural extravaganza, mostly by children and youth was in many ways “reliving the culture and traditions” and a is way of “cherishing the past with a view to pass it on to the future generation.” Bollywood, classical, folk dances with music from the yesteryears to the present, along with a magic show, culminating with a grand buffet dinner were highlightsw of the celebrations. Homemade cookie sale by children for the benefit of a local charity was an added attraction.
Living in countries that are far away from their homeland, in the midst of different cultures, busy with the day-to-day mundane work and home tasks, the Non Resident Indian (NRI) community made this “land of opportunities” their home, have brought with them these cultural traditions and have sought to pass them on to their children, who are often born and raised here.
The celebration of Christmas and New Year with traditional and modern Indian cultural events provides them with a perfect opportunity to encourage the new generation of children of Indian origin to witness, learn and appreciate these rich traditions, even while it offers the first generation NRIs to stay connected and cherish the rich cultural heritage they hold so dear to them as well as it serves as a way of showcasing these traditions to the larger American community.
“MASCONN an offshoot of the natural growth of the Indian-American especially Malayalee Community in the southern Connecticut region,” said Unni Thoyakkattu, President of MASCON, in his welcome address. “In a very short period, we have grown by leaps and bounds and we strive to meet the growing needs of our community. In his welcome address, Unni described the many initiatives the new organization has spearheaded successfully in the past decade. He referred to the MASCONN-Kids Club which has recently been launched, and urged the youth and children to become members of it. He thanked the Kids Club members who had made cookies, brownies and other sweets at home and had displayed a colorful sale. The money generated was to be given in charity to the Cancer Society at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Bridgeport.
Tijo Josh, an organizer of the event, said, “We thank every performer, their parents, and their choreographers for your effort and commitment. Thank you for your cooperation with everything. We really appreciate everyone for being on time, being on the ball and ready to show your best. You did an excellent job by making your performance within the allotted time. Because of you, we were able to get through the programs as planned. Start getting ready for the next big event – Onam2017. You keep raising the bar in what you do and we want to make this even better – the best show in Southern CT.”