Dharmic Sabha’s Kala Utsav showcases excellent talent


The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha held its 21st annual Kala Utsav on Sunday, November 26, at the Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud Dharmic Sanskritik Kendra in Prashad Nagar.

Some 230 children and youths from around the country participated in the categories of Ramayan Chanting, Male and Female Singing, Classical and Folk Dancing, Kirtan, Instrumental Music and Tassa before a large and encouraging audience.

Amanda Richards photos

The day’s proceedings commenced with the traditional lighting of the lamp by Tassa maestro Mangal. This was followed by a beautiful dance performed by the Dharmic Nritya Sangh and Kala Utsav past winner Farzaana Khan. In opening remarks, Indian High Commissioner Mahalingam Venkatachalam commended the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha and Dr. Vindhya Persaud for the relentless efforts in promoting Indian Culture in Guyana especially among the youths at a time when there are so many distractions provided by modern technology.

President of the Dharmic Sabha, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, in her remarks, emphasized that the purpose of festival was to identify, train and showcase youthful talent and noted that over its 21-year history, Kala Utsav had seen thousands of young people participate in the festival, evidence of the fact that the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha had been delivering consistently and effectively in providing platform for young people around the country.

She saluted the teachers who had been working with the participants and thanked the Praants (regional branches) of the Sabha for their hard work and dedication. Special presentations made to Chandrowtie Sarran and Sahadeo Heyland for their work in teaching the Hindu Language for many years.

The festival saw impressive performances by the young people and it was not an easy job for the panel of judges which comprised teachers of the Indian Cultural Centre Debashish Das and Rudro Jayanta Bhagwati, Pandit Jagmohan Persaud, Chandra Gajraj, singers Rekha Singh and Sookrane Boodhoo, musicians Amar Maraj and Tarun Deodat, Tassa expert Mangal and senior dancers of the Sabha Zahrah Alli and Farzaana Khan.

The Ramayan Chanting category was among the highlights of the day and saw the groups presenting mini but elaborate Ramlilas accompanied by Chanting and explanations for the Shri RamCharitmanas. Ravindra Reeknauth of West Berbice copped the first prize with Karan Rambhaju of West Coast Demerara and Karmachand Sugrim of East Berbice gaining the second and third spots respectively.

In the Classical Dance category, Essequibo Praant took home the top prize while East Berbice was second and East Coast Demerara third. In a vibrant Folk Dance segment, East Coast Demerara was first, Essequibo second and West Berbice third.

The Tassa category was keenly anticipated and it didn’t disappoint. As group after group took to stage to display their skills with much showmanship, many members of the audience could be seen dancing in their seats and a few even got up.

The group from East Coast Demerara was adjudged first while Feel the Beat of West Coast Demerara placed Second and the Dubraj Tassa Group of East Bank Demerara got the third spot. In Instrumental music, West Coast Demerara was first, Central Corentyne second and East Bank Demerara third. West Coast Demerara also took the top spot in Kirtan with East Bank Demerara placing second and Central Corentyne third.

The male and female singing categories saw lots of excellent talent and great promise for the future. Karmachand Sugrim of East Berbice placed first, Ganesh Kasinath of Central Corentyne second and Arijit Singh of East Coast Demerara third in the male category. But it was 10-year old Nya Kumarie of East Bank Demerara who was the favourite of the day. She brought many to tears and received a standing ovation for her winning performance in the female singing category.

Balika Seenarine of West Berbice placed second and Hema Devi Udhising of Georgetown third. The West Coast Demerara Praant was adjudged the best performing Praant of this year’s Kala Utsav. Trophies, certificates and cash prizes were distributed at the end of the event. Kala Utsav was chaired by Dr. Rishiram Dubraj and Ashwini Sarran. (Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha)

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