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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Indian festivals in the US
Britney, star from broadway play, American Dream Wedding
Americans like to play and dance to Bollywood music

The festival season that grips India in the month of October has engulfed the lives of Indians in New York.

Non-resident Indians living in the United States want to maintain their own traditions whilst continuing to move forward in American society.

And they celebrate their festivals with traditional style and gaiety.

This year a number of cultural and religious functions have been organised by the Indian community in New York and New Jersey.

Men and women dancing
The Dandya is danced to the rhythm of two sticks

Dandya, the traditional Gujarati dance, in which men and women dance to the rhythm of small sticks, is enjoyed by Indians and Americans alike, thousands of miles from where it began.

And the organisers say the Dandya dance, attracts the largest gathering of Dandya revellers outside India.

Revellers

Thousands flock to dance in Edison city which has a large population of Indians.


The Americans have little knowledge of Indian culture

El Masand, Director of "American Dream Wedding"

The celebrations are enjoyed under a huge tent till the wee hours of the morning.

The traditional dance is enjoyed by both Indians and Americans of diverse origins.

Traditionally the festivities continue until the end of October.

The celebrations have been known to be frequented by popular Indian singers like Falguni Pathak and Baba Sehgal.

They add a touch of Bollywood to the dancing and singing with popular songs which drive people wild in the US.

Other popular Hindu festivals are also celebrated through out the United States.

Americans who appreciate popular Bollywood music join in the dandya dancing by dressing up in saris.

'American Dream Wedding'

Traditions of Indian culture are also depicted in a play, 'American Dream Wedding.'

It stars American artists Britney and Tuna who dance to Bollywood tunes wearing specially designed saris and Indian jewellery.

The story line takes on a theme of a traditional Indian wedding in which an American girl marries an Indian boy following Indian rituals.

The director, El Masand says: "The Americans have little knowledge of Indian culture, so I am trying to popularise our culture through these entertainment programmes."

The American people like to play and dance their way late into the night with the tunes of Bollywood songs giving them added enjoyment.

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08 Nov 99 | South Asia
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