By Asian Media USA ©
Chicago IL: From the moment visitors walked through the Field Museum’s east entrance doors Saturday, October 28 Beyond Bollywood Family Fun Day promised delight. Pre-schoolers and their parents joined Bollywood Groove story teller Ajanta Chakraborty in vigorous movement to enliven the story of “Five Days of Diwali.” In the Crown Family PlayLab children created sparkly Diyas, clay lamps which brighten the darkest night of the year when millions of people world-wide celebrate Diwali, the festival of light. Others tackled Indian board games including Carom and Snakes and Ladders.
Before noon the entire museum resounded with the rhythm of Kalakshetra Drummers as they brought a tradition from Kerala, India to Stanley Field Hall, then led visitors up the South Staircase to the Marae Gallery to tour BEYOND BOLLYWOOD: INDIAN AMERICANS SHAPE THE NATION. There visitors viewed videos about members of the local Indian American community, and examined local treasures displayed with banners from the Smithsonian Traveling exhibition of Beyond Bollywood.
After lunch entranced children flanked by mesmerized adults formed a huge semi-circle in Stanley Field Hall as an Indian classical dance performance upstaged the Field’s famous African elephants and Tyrannosaurus Rex Sue. Kathak exponent Gauri Jog displayed intricacies of the dance form and the Indian Dance School troupe displayed perfect coordination in group performance.
The Family Day event was organized by Indo-American Heritage Museum Beyond Bollywood Committee Members Amita Banerji and Dorothie Shah with vital cooperation from Field Museum Childhood Learning Center staff, Alyssa Harsha and Eduarda Briseno IAHM Beyond Bollywood Docents Happie Datt, Nita Gangwal, Soumya Patala, Padma Rangaswamy, Vinkel Thakkar, Padma Rangaswamy, and volunteers Zach Tyler and Dhruv Mehta assisted in supervising activities and promoting visitor participation.