For those students who decide to stay on campus for Easter/Passover weekend you might want to check out Mela 2003, which is celebrating its 17th anniversary on Saturday. Mela is the annual cultural show presented by the Association for the Development of Interest in the Indian Subcontinent.

Mela 2003 is a three-part celebration that will begin at 4 p.m. in Strong Auditorium. Students will showcase their various vocal and instrumental talents through performances involving bhangra and dandia. The cast will also perform several dances to songs from India’s growing film industry, “Bollywood.” The audience will also be entertained by several comical skits depicting life from a South Asian perspective.

Once the performance is completed, ADITI will present a dinner catered by India Palace in Douglass Dining Center. The extravaganza concludes with Meltdown 2003, an after party co-sponsored by ADITI, The Pride Network, SALSA, Sigma Beta Rho, and Sigma Delta Tau. The after party will feature diverse cultural music at Logan’s Party House from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

“Mela is truly unlike any other event on campus,” senior and ADITI president Sudhir Shenoy said. There is such a variety of music and dance both from the Indian subcontinent and that which has been influenced by Western culture that makes Mela such a unique event and a must-see for any freshman or any student who has not seen the show in the past.”

The same sentiments were reiterated by junior Vishal Didwania. “Mela not only informs the campus about culture and dance styles of the South Asian subcontinent, but it also is an entertaining event filled with humor, excitement and mind-blowing acrobatics,” he said.

There have been a host of improvements to this year’s Mela as several freshmen have brought new talent to the show.

ADITI has also tried to make each performance more “crowd-pleasing” by dancing to familiar tunes – both from Hindi film songs and some hip-hop which has been influenced by Indian music. The high energy and colorful costumes, which have characterized Mela in the past, will again play an important part in the show.

This upcoming weekend is not the only one in which ADITI makes it presence felt on campus. The group’s main objective is to promote a greater awareness of social, cultural and political issues concerning South Asia. In addition, ADITI reaches out to all members of the UR community, encouraging a true cultural unity by celebrating our differences.

“ADITI has offered me the opportunity to learn more about the diversity of South Asian culture,” Shenoy said. “I see each member of ADITI as an ambassador of South Asian culture, and each member has unique talents and perspectives which benefit the group as a whole.”

Besides Mela, ADITI hosts a number of other social events to promote group unity and provide service to the campus as a whole. Some of the events ADITI is responsible for running include a brunch at India Caf, a picnic at Genesee Valley Park, the South Asian Expo and National Gandhi Day of Service.

Unfortunately tickets for the performance and the dinner are sold out. However, tickets for the performance are only $2 and can be purchased at the Common Market. Tickets for Meltdown 2003, the afterparty are $3 per UR student and can be purchased at the door with a valid UR ID.

Rybaltowski can be reached at mrybaltowski@campustimes.org.



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