THE DAILY STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

Students celebrate Indian culture at annual Dhoom Machale

Pat McAteer | April 8, 2012    

Emerging from the wings of the stage clad in shining Indian jewelry and green and pink dresses,… Emerging from the wings of the stage clad in shining Indian jewelry and green and pink dresses, members of Pitt’s Nrityamala squad formed a circle that increased in speed, following the tempo of the song.

As they danced to the soft sounds of the sitar, a stringed instrument, the Indian student dance group banged their feet against the ground, shaking the cymbals attached to their ankles and releasing a clanging sound in tune with the music.

The dancers of Pitt’s Nrityamala squad represented just one of the many acts at the Indian Subcontinent Association’s annual Dhoom Machale celebration held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday in the Bellefield Hall auditorium.

Neel Andharia, ISA vice president, said Dhoom Machale roughly translates to English as “have fun.” She said the event celebrates different aspects of Indian culture, including song, dance and fashion.

While this year’s celebration attracted about 80 audience members, Andharia said Dhoom Machale is ISA’s largest event of the year and usually brings in between 250 and 300 people.

The theme for this year’s show was Bollywood, an informal term for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai, India.

Modeling the event after a Bollywood awards show, emcees Samyuktha Ravi and Shivani Patel opened the show by mock-interviewing Pitt senior Chirag Shah, who played a famous Bollywood actor.

Ravi and Patel asked Shah why he was so successful with women.

“I don’t know, I guess it could be my stunning good looks,” Shah said before dancing with three female participants.

After the interview, Ravi and Patel awarded best male singer to Pitt junior Akshay Hari, who performed songs from famous Bollywood films.

Continuing with the show, the emcees introduced Pitt sophomore Fahim Faruque and awarded him best singing and guitar combination.

Faruque began with a mash-up on the acoustic guitar of Indian and American hits with Tum Se Hi by Indian artist Mohit Chauhan, and continued by playing “I Want It That Way,” by the Backstreet Boys, among others.

As one of the largest portions of Dhoom Machale, the fashion show had participants model clothing from India and other countries around the world.

Junior Usha Appalaneni, who participated in the fashion show, said participants wore clothing featured in Bollywood films. She said footage from the films projected behind the participants as they modeled the clothing.

Appalaneni said she was approached to perform in the show after modeling in various shows on campus in the past, including two other Dhoom Machale shows in the past.

The event also featured a meal consisting of traditional Indian foods, including pita, curry and a dessert of rice pudding.

Andharia said the event was a chance for Pitt students to experience performances and food unique to India.

“This event allows everyone to get introduced to our culture and the Indian Subcontinent Association,” Andharia said.

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