By Leigh Cesanek
Students dressed in beautiful saris and salwars — traditional Indian attire — gathered for a night of food, music and entertainment for the Indian Student Association’s sixth annual Bollywood Night on Friday, April 3, in the Brower Student Center.
ISA wanted to promote Indian culture through the expression of Indian music, garb and dance entertainment, according to ISA’s president, Neil Borad, a senior biology and economics double major.
The event also featured food catered by Moghul Caterers in Edison, N.J., which included the zesty Indian dish, chaatwala.
TCNJ Jiva and Sher Bhangra performed traditional dances for the audience, producing a lot of excitement. Dancer Nikhil Nayak, a senior biology major, explained that his group, Sher Bhangra, performed two types of Indian dance. The first type, Bollywood, is traditionally seen in Indian movies.
“Bhangra is more of a specialization,” Nayak said. He explained it comes from Northern India and typically features more drums in the songs.
Anshul Jain, a senior psychology major, emceed the event and introduced the first performance of the night, “Jiva Divas.” TCNJ Jiva performed semi-classical and contemporary Indian dances. The all-girl group had a lively performance that was well-received from the audience gathered around the dance floor to watch.
Sher Bhangra performed next with three males opening the routine with an upbeat mix of songs while incorporating props into the dances. During the show, four female performers joined in for the remainder of the routine.
Zehra Husain, a senior biology major and a member of the audience, said that they had just added the girls to the Sher Bhangra group, and she was very excited to see them perform.
“I love watching them,” senior management major Andrea Baez said. “(They) were the reason I came.”
D.J. Neel Desai, senior management major and a member of ISA, provided music entertainment throughout the night. ISA wanted to “bring Bollywood to the rest of the College” through the event, Desai said. The types of music he provided for the night included Bollywood film and Bhangra, which he said are South Asian types.
Most girls in attendance wore saris and salwars, two types of traditional Indian dresses, according to guests of the event Ashna Chinnappa, a sophomore biology major, and Aarabi Rabeendiran, a sophomore psychology major. Chinnappa and Rabeendiran also explained that some people can even make their own saris and salwars.
Sophomore management major Alyssa Freitas said that she looks forward to this night all year.
“I’m obsessed with Bollywood,” Freitas said.
The evening was a success, evident by the large turnout. Bollywood Night was able to bring together a diverse group of students to enjoy in the food, dress and dances of Indian culture.