Desi Talk - page 16

May 27, 2016
– that’s all you need to know
By Urvashi Verma
he Asian American Coalition of
Chicago, along with the host com-
munity, the Chinese Americans of
Illinois, joined hands to celebrate
the 15th Annual Asian American
Festival in recognition of the month of May
as the Asian American and Pacific
Islanders Heritage Month at Daley Center
Plaza Chicago fromMay 16–May 20.
Anne Shaw chaired the festival commit-
tee this year as the Asian American com-
munities take turn hosting this event.
Asian American celebrity TV personali-
ties of Chicago like Linda Yu, Judy Hsu, and
Eric Horng of ABC7, Joany Lum of FOX32,
Katie Kim of NBC5, and Nancy Loo of
WGN9 emceed the lunch time cultural
performances throughout the week.
The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago,
a long time AACC partner, and others rep-
resented the Indian-American Community
and also supported the planning and exe-
cution of the festival. PCS participated in
the ethnic-wear fashion show and also
demonstrated turban- wrapping at Daley
"Being visible in mainstream events like
these is the first step towards civic engage-
ment, which helps community-building
and coalition-building on road to empow-
erment," said Rajinder Singh Mago of PCS
who is also on the board of AACC.
The festival showcased delicious Asian-
ethnic cuisines, and unique Asian
American merchandise. Lending addition-
al color to the festivities were Asian-
Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Laotian,
Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thail lunch and,
dance performances, music, martial arts,
turban-wrapping, and henna art.
The opening ceremonies on May 16
started with a cultural procession on the
Daley plazas, displaying an array of Asian-
American dresses worn by people from dif-
ferent countries. On the final day of the
festival, the gavel was passed on to the
next year’s host, Pakistani- American com-
munity, accepted by Sadruddin Noorani.
Turban-wrapping Showcased At Asian-American Festival
By Urvashi Verma
he Consulate General of
India in Chicago
announced May 17 that the
2nd International Day of Yoga will
be celebrated June 25 at the
Timber Creek Inn in Sandwich,
Ill., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The 2nd International Day of
Yoga kick-off ceremony com-
menced May 17 with screening of
extracts of messages by Prime
Minister of India, and the
External Affairs Minister that
were derived from the Common
Yoga Protocol 2016, and a wel-
come message by Consul
During kick-off ceremony
Consul General Ausaf Sayeed
addressed the gathering and
shared information with partici-
pants about the celebration of the
upcoming International Yoga
Day. He said that the consulate is
expecting participation of several
local dignitaries and elected offi-
cials at the inaugural. The City of
Sandwich has declared its sup-
port for the celebrations and
would be issuing a special procla-
mation declaring the Day as the
International Yoga Day.
Sayeed appreciated the will-
ingness of the Mayor of the City
of Sandwich, Rick Olson, and
thanked him for taking initiative
to collaborate for the celebration.
Sayeed also expressed his deep
appreciation for Deepak Kant
Vyas, Chairman and CEO,
Redberri Global Corp., a
Missouri-based company, which
handles data integration for some
of the world’s largest financial
institutions, for offering the
premises free of charge, which
includes at auditorium with a
capacity of more than 60,000
“When I visited the premises
with Mayor Olson, I was taken
away with beautiful surroundings
and river which passes through
the grounds and we wanted to
host this event in a serene envi-
ronment where it seems fit to
practice yoga, families, children
and seniors will not only enjoy
the program but also the beauti-
ful surroundings. As you just
heard fromMayor Olson, all of
the municipalities, hospitals,
police force, fire and transporta-
tion departments of Sandwich are
working with us and making spe-
cial and exceedingly successful
event for our community,“ said
Sayeed Olson attended the cere-
mony with the representatives of
City of Sandwich, including Jim
Teckenbrock, executive director,
Sandwich Economic
Development Corporation, Cort
Carlson, executive director,
Aurora area convention and visi-
tor’s bureau, and Chief of Police
of city of Sandwich, Jim Bianci.
“This is wonderful for our city.
We are making special arrange-
ments for yoga day participants
including parking, medical care
and accommodations. We have
beautiful antique shops, great
restaurants and are a very friend-
ly community. We hope that the
participants will come not just for
yoga day but also stay and enjoy
the charm of our city,” said Olson.
Vyas said he was delighted to
host the International Day of Yoga
at his premises. “As they say, you
can take the Indian out of India,
but you can’t take the India out of
the India and I am always ready
to support the community,” he
The event that has already
received unanimous support
from numerous Chicagoland
community organizations includ-
ing, The Art of living Foundation,
Isha Foundation, Brahma
Kumaris Meditation Centers,
SEWA International, Science of
Spirituality, Hindu Swayamsevak
Sangh, Yog Sadhan Ashram, Sahaj
Yoga Ashram, Temple of
Harmony, Swami Sahajananda,
Balaji Temple, BAPS
Swaminarayan Mandir, American
Association of Retired Asians
(AARA) and Metropolitan
American Federation of Seniors
(MAFS), expects to host more
than 5,000 participants this year.
The following events have
already been organized and more
are being added daily as the event
approaches including: book and
photo exhibitions, and screenings
of the documentary, a common
yoga protocol demonstration of
basic asanas and breathing tech-
niques by The Art of Living
Foundation, guided meditation
workshop and children’s activities
organized by the Brahm Kumaris
Meditation Center, surya
namaskar demonstrations by the
Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh,
talks on the science of Kriya Yoga
and meditation by Swami
Sahajananda, ‘Yoga An Ageless
Technique’ by The Science of
Spirituality, hath yoga posture
and cleansing demonstration by
Yog Sadhan Ashram, Cyclic
MeditationWorkshop (Stop
Diabetic Movement) by SEWA
International; and chair yoga
demonstration for seniors by
American Association of Retired
Asians (AARA).
“We look forward to teaching
meditation our objective is for
the practitioner to find harmony
and use meditation to create a
peace and value in their lives and
eventually leading them to the
meaning of life itself, said Swami
Sahajananda from the
Kriyavedanta Ashram.
“ I truly enjoyed Yoga day last
year, everybody’s involvement is
important and also yoga is not
just for India it is for the world
and everyone should enjoy and
benefit from it including local
and city governments, said Bina
The Consul General concluded
the kick-off ceremony and urged
all the community organizations
and media partners to extend
whole-hearted support in cele-
brating the International Day of
Yoga in a befitting manner not
only in the City of Sandwich, but
also in the entire U.S. Midwest.
Consulate Gets Support For Upcoming International Day Of Yoga
Rajinder Singh Mago of the Punjabi Cultural Society of
Chicago displays turban-trying technique during the
15th Annual Asian American Festival at Daley Center
Plaza Chicago last week. PCS said that being visible in
mainstream events is the first step towards civic
engagement which helps community-building.
From left, Rick Olson Mayor of Sandwich, Illinois, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, consul general of
India in Chicago and Deepak Kanth Vyas, chairman of Redberri Global Corporation, at the
2nd International Day of Yoga kickoff ceremony at the Consulate General of India May 17,
in Chicago, Illinois. Below, dignitaries, community leaders and participants at the 2nd
International Day of Yoga kickoff ceremony at the Consulate General of India in Chicago.
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