By the immense grace of Sri Swamiji, the first edition of Puranava – Indian Cultural Fest 2019 was conducted in the Bay area by Global Organization for Divinity. The lovely event happened on April 20th, a beautiful Saturday that started with the gods of rain blessing mild showers and later the sun god shining his best! The event happened at the Fremont Senior Center, a central place in Bay area. Puranava 2019 Bay Area drew hundreds of visitors – kids, their parents and grand parents, who wished to be part of the fest and in general, help promote Sanathana Dharma and Indian culture.
Competitions like Madhurageetham Music competition, Public speaking, Samskruthi arts, recital of Gopika Geetham, one of the jewels in the holy text Srimad Bhagavatham, and India Quiz were conducted to motivate our young minds to learn and know more about our ethnicity, our cultural and religious background. Each of the competitions were held to bring out the kids’ talent and to instill in them a sense of our Sanathana Dharma.
Every competition had different age categories of children participating with such enthusiasm and interest. The arts competition had the junior most category of children to draw vahanas (vehicles) of our Gods, the kids from 9 to 12 to draw a one person portrait of a Bhagavatha (devotee of the Lord) and finally the young ones from 13 to 17 depict a scene from any one of our puranas. To our amazement, we saw that every kid had not only drawn the pictures so well but had really understood the deep essence behind making them do this task and they explained their drawings in a deep and concise manner. In fact, the winner of this competition had chosen a rather rare theme – the portrayal of Kali Yuga in the form a man who is breaking the legs of Dharma who is in the form of a bull while Earth, depicted as a cow meekly looks on. This surprised everybody including the judges as to how such young buds were able to perceive such deep things at such a young age and depict it beautifully through their art work.
The highlight of the entire event was the India Quiz that happened post lunch. We had tremendous response for the quiz from both the kids and the parents. Both of them eagerly participated in this activity in learning more about our country. It was conducted in a wonderful manner by our volunteers, who had created buzzer rounds and other interesting rounds to keep the kids on their feet. This event happened in the Silicon Valley so it would be fitting to use technology to its fullest extent at the event, right?
We also had beautiful exhibits depicting the rich culture and traditions of India like Rangoli, Indian Art, Mehendi, Flower garland making, Ayurveda, Vedic math, photo booth, traditional games, etc.
Our volunteers took care of food too. They came together and organized sumptuous meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Prize Distribution ceremony
For the prize distribution ceremony, Smt. Lakshmy Praskash ji was the guest of honor. The welcome address was given by Dr. Sriramji, G.O.D Treasurer. He stressed the importance of teaching and nurturing the rich Indian culture, the religious and spiritual epicenter of the world, to our kids and about various other G.O.D initiatives.
Global Organization for Divinity is deeply grateful to all our generous sponsors – New India Bazaar, our Grand Platinum sponsor, Chaat Bhavan – Our Gold Sponsor, Coco Hill and Ponni Delta – Our Silver sponsor, Young gates, Ambi travels and Best Brains.
Everyone who visited our event had immense praises for G.O.D and Puranava volunteers for the contribution to the Indian community and for catering to the needs and interests of their children. As a mark of our way of celebrating this successful event and offer our prayers to the Almighty and to Sri Swamiji, our G.O.D. volunteers concluded the event with Mahamantra chanting. ‘Vana Bhojanam’ (Food in the Woods) was conducted near the venue by the side of a lake. Nothing would have been possible without Sri Swamiji’s blessings and we pray to be of more service to Him. Last but not the least, kudos to all dedicated G.O.D. volunteers who worked hard for making Puranava in Bay Area a reality!