KEISHA BROKAW | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
The Indian Students’ Association is putting on India Night this Sunday from 4:30-7:30 p.m., where students can come and experience Indian culture, food and entertainment.
The night will showcase performances from across India that include music, dances and skits, as well as different Indian cuisines.
“Every state has its own unique dance forms, unique languages,” said Vivek Amrutiya, one of the vice presidents of ISA. “We are just trying to show that unity and diversity in presenting our country at WSU.”
With the night, attendees can expect to see performances like Kathakali and Bharatanatyam dances, bhangra music, different foods such as chana masala and tandoori chicken, and a raffle with the chance to win some prizes.
This year, India Night also falls on the first night of Diwali, the festival of lights and one of the biggest celebrations in India.
The ISA has been hosting India Night for “long enough,” said Amit Bandyopadhyay, chair professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and one of ISA’s advisers, or at least since he came to WSU in 1997. Bandyopadhyay said India Night serves as a chance to bring Indian culture to Pullman, especially during such an important celebration.
“This time of year is like Christmastime in India, and here in Pullman, there is nothing,” Bandyopadhyay said. “So, it’s kind of a platform to bring those cultural events to the community here.”
Every year, India Night has served as an opportunity for WSU and Pullman’s Indian community to meet and celebrate their culture. For members like Amrutiya and Reetwika Basu, informational technology coordinator for ISA, the night is always a great place to meet and talk to Indian students.
“We have a huge number of Indian students in Pullman,” Basu said. “It’s always great to have this event where everyone can come together and get to know other people from the same country.”
Susmita Bose, chair professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and the ISA’s other adviser, said that India Night also brings together not just the students, but Pullman’s entire Indian community.
“For Indian families, it’s very important for the next generation to see what we do back home,” Bose said.
Basu said for those who aren’t Indian and less familiar with the culture, India Night can serve as a learning experience and a chance to get a deeper look into the cultural makeup of India.
This year, the ISA has put more emphasis on getting more culturally diverse performances from different parts of India, something that might have been lacking in previous India Nights, she said.
“We’re trying to project Indian culture to someone who is alien to it,” Amrutiya said. “So someone can get a sense of what India is like without going to India.”
India Night is on Sunday, Oct. 27 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in the Gladish Community and Cultural Center. It is $5 for students and $10 for non-students, and tickets can be paid online or in person.
“So what can you expect?” Bandyopadhyay said. “A good, vibrant cultural celebration with good food.”