Chicago IL: The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) flagship annual event “Rangla Punjab” to celebrate (belated) Vaisakhi festival, was held on May 21, after an hiatus of couple of years due to the covid19 pandemic, at the Yellow Box Theater, Naperville, Illinois. This was the 28th year of this event by PCS.
More than 800 attended. Nearly 200 children and adults from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin performed Punjabi folk dances Bhangra and Giddha, played music, and socialized.
Prominent Punjabi Singer and film artist Sarbjit Cheema with many smash hits like his evergreen song “Rangle Punjab Di Sifat Sunnava,” along with Miss Dolisha a rising star in Punjabi singing and their live orchestra from Canada electrified the audience to be dancing wherever they were, in their seats, on the floor all over the auditorium and made it a memorable evening. Everyone was ecstatic enjoying togetherness after covid19 lockdowns and social distancing.
Dr. Param P. Singh a cardiovascular physician from Moline Illinois, who won “The Young Investigator Award” from AACIO in 2010, was the chief guest.
“Rangla Punjab ” is the single largest annual Punjabi cultural event in the Chicago area that promotes the local community talent and showcases the Punjabi performing arts to a family audience since three decades.
Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago volunteers train and provides a platform to the local Punjabi artists to nurture and grow their talents. “Rangla Punjab” event helps Punjabi youth come closer to their heritage, Punjabi language, culture and community. This indeed is a great community building effort,” said Parvinder Singh Nanua, the P.C.S. President.
Rangla Punjab 2022 event was organized by the PCS Board with the help of dozens of youth coordinators and volunteers. PCS Vice president Bhupinder Singh Dhaliwal welcomed the attendees and started the evening program with the U.S. National anthem sung by Mini Singh, followed by singing of Sikh prayer hymns by the children of Wheaton and Palatine Gurdwaras.
The evening event was divided into two halves where the first half included 17 performances including Bhangra and Giddha Punjabi folk dances and music recitals by the local talent. Esha Kaur Singh played Punjabi tunes on Viola while Jaskaran Sangha played the Dhol.
Dance items were prepared by the efforts of Neha Sobti, Kiran Bhalla, Kiran Grewal, Gia Dhaliwal, Avneet Kaur Aujla, Jasleen Kaur, Navneet Kaur & Sonia Kohli, Kiran Grewal, Amandeep Kular, Mankirth Singh, Kiran Grewal & Rajbir Dhillon, Neetu Singh, Navtej Sohi & Gurshaan Sohi, Rajpreet Dhaliwal, Kawaljeet Kaur and Payal Virdi.
This part was emceed by the local youth who were encouraged to speak in Punjabi. The first half was divided into four segments which were emceed by Karan Gill & Gurneer Sidhu; Gurkiran Kaur, Mankirth Singh & Harnoor Singh; Gia Dhaliwal & Guru Dhaliwal; Simran Bhalla & Manpreet Bhalla.
Navtej Singh Sohi and Rajinder Singh Mago provided backstage support to the youth. Surinder Palia, Jasbir Palia, Manjeet Bhalla, Gurlal Bhattal, Iqbal Saini, Rajinder Singh Dyal, Thakar Singh Basati, Jaskaran Saini, Gurpreet Girn, Harleen Saini, Bikram Sahota along with several other volunteers helped with the costumes, turban tying, and bringing the young performers back stage for performance line-ups.
PCS President Parvinder Singh Nanua welcomed the audience, thanked the participants and the sponsors, and introduced the PCS Board of Directors, Advisors and Governors. Rajinder Singh Mago introduced the PCS Honorary Chairman Kevindeep Singh Atwal and Chief Guest Dr. Param P. Singh, who distributed awards to the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum sponsors.
“I am the third generation being part of PCS and Rangla Punjab,” said Kevindeep Singh Atwal the PCS Chairman. The outgoing PCS Presidents Harwinder Paul Singh Lail (2019), Balwinder Singh Girn (2020) and PCS Chairman Gurdeep Singh Nandra (2019) were honored with plaques, by the Chief Guest, for their excellent services.
“After a couple of years of pause and loneliness caused by the covid19 pandemic, I am proud to say that P.C.S. is back with a bang tonight, I feel ecstatic,” said Gurdeep Singh Nandra, who was accompanied by his wife Rajneesh Nandra. Counsel Ranjit Singh of Indian Consulate in Chicago attended with his family and was also recognized.
“I congratulate Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago for their prolific achievements in promoting Punjabi Culture and Language, which is quite evident from the number of young children nearly 200 participating in the program tonight, and this is your 28th year doing this,” said Counsel Ranjit Singh.
Kimi Mehta, Director South Asian Outreach Chicago Board of Election Commissioners spoke to encourage South Asian communities including Indians and to vote. The second half of the program was conducted by Navtej Singh Sohi and Vick Singh where the famous Punjabi Singer Dolisha and Sarbjit Cheema sang and danced to entertain the crowd involving the audience with them to constantly clap and dance creating a very happy and celebratory mood like a huge party. Hundreds of young and old danced to their heart’s content on every song they sang making it an unforgettable event.
Many parents congratulated and expressed their appreciation for PCS for continuing to provide opportunities, free coaching and a platform to keep their kids connected with our Punjabi culture. The event was organized by the PCS Officials, with the help and support of many item coordinators, volunteers, and community sponsors.
The security was handled by Mohinderjit Singh Saini, all the graphics design art work and Information Technology work was done by Gurpreet Sidhu, the stage sound systems and coordination by Jigerdeep Dhillon, Tickets and seating by Balwinder Girn and Gurpreet Girn, all financial matters by Bikram Sohi, Awards and the guest artists coordination by Vick Singh, food arrangements by Sukhmel Singh Atwal, Paul Lail , and Bhinder Pamma. Amarjit Kaur Atwal coordinated facilities for team practices, and over all supervision by President Parvinder Singh Nanua and Vice President Bhupinder Singh Dhaliwal.