The ISA hosts 'Jhankaar,' exposing new people to India's vastness

Representing all of India, "Jhankaar" gave new audiences a taste of everything

India came to Tempe on Saturday as the Indian Student Association held its annual Jhankaar event, showcasing Indian music, dance and culture.

Gnyanesh Trivedi, a mechanical engineering grad student and president of the ISA, said this yearly event is a way for the local Indian community to bring others in and introduce them to the culture. 

"'Jhankaar' is essentially the Indian Student Association's annual flagship event, so this is our definition," said Trivedi. "This is all things Indian and a way to involve people outside of our community and show them how wonderful our community really is."

Trivedi said it was "a night of firsts" in many ways, especially in the grand scale of the show, as it brought in the largest turnout the ISA has ever had.

"This is the first time (the Student Pavilion) had been used for an event of this capacity," he said. "It's also the first time the Indian Student Association has collaborated with the Programming and Activities Board." 

Siddhu Immadisetty, a solar energy engineering grad student, said he was very surprised by how large "Jhankaar" was.

"It was so awesome that we got to see so many live performances of different singers and different kinds of dances," he said.

Apoorva Srinivasa, an electrical engineering doctoral student and one of the performers at "Jhankaar," said she performed with an ISA dance group that uses different styles.

"The different (dance) styles were semi-classical, Bollywood and a little bit of hip-hop," she said. "All of these combined together."

She was glad to see all the different Indian subcultures represented within the different performances.

"It was a really good way of depicting our culture," she said. "It was a combination of all kinds of Indian culture like North, South; classical and modern."

Because of India's diversity, Trivedi said it was a challenge to put all these cultures into one show.

"I think coming to ASU a lot of the Indian population has met more Indians of different parts of the country than they would have back home," he said. "Putting on a show of this magnitude and being super inclusive of all of those cultures requires a lot of effort."

Trivedi said he wants to change a stereotype that depicts the Indian community as selective or unsociable.

"We're the most inclusive community that you can find out there," he said. "We just love to bring more people into it."

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