Arts & Entertainment

Basking Ridge Indian Community Presents Holi Festival of Colors With Hometown Twist

Some of the participants in the Basking Ridge Indian Community Festival of Colors needed to take a break from the "coloring" action with a fine Holi powder. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Both adults and children participated in the Basking Ridge Indian Community's Holi festival, held last week at the Oak Street School in Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Rohan Jinktukar, a Ridge High School sophmore and member of the New Jersey Youth Symphony orchestra, played viola - and sang, too - at the Holi festival. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Participants in last week's Holi Festival at the Oak Street School in Basking Ridge were happy to show their true colors. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Dancers from Kavi's School of Dance entertained the crowd before the throwing of the colors. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Not everyone at the April 9 BRIC Holi festival in Basking Ridge was Indian - some visitors wanted to learn about the holiday, join the fun - or eat! Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Some rad outfits and sunglasses gave a modern twist to Holi dancing during the performances held before a full Indian buffet. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Some of the Holi revelers teamed up for a colorful game. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Powdered and intensely bright Holi color was handed out to participants in the April 9 Holi celebration at the Oak Street School in Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Some of the Holi participants were a little more artistic in their color approach. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
The traditional Holi Festival of Colors brought together much of the Basking Ridge Indian community to celebrate at the Oak Street School. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Guests welcomed at the festival included Bernards Township officials and school board member Priti Shah. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Guests invited to the April 9 Holi festival in Basking Ridge included Bernards Twp. Committeewoman Carol Bianchi (l) with Naishali Bhagat of Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Adults also participated in the cultural presentations at the April 9 Holi Festival, presented by the Basking Ridge Indian Community. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
The cultural presentations at the Basking Ridge Indian Community's Holi festival included touches of the characters and subjects children learn in local schools. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
The Basking Ridge Indian Community presented the Holi festival presented on Sunday, April 9, at the Oak Street School in Basking Ridge. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
The presenters of the Basking Ridge Indian Community's Holi celebration were honored following the cultural presentations at the festival. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Kruti Kapadia, left, and Sundari Rao, helped make the event happen. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Dances to traditional - or non traditional - Indian music were presented as part of the festival. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
After the Kavi's School of Dance performers got the crowd moving, the guys joined the action. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
The dancers from Kavi's School of Dance performed several numbers outside the Oak Street School in Basking Ridge before the crowd joined in. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos
Some of the Holi participants were more drenched than others in the fine colored powder. Credits: By Linda Sadlouskos

BERNARDS TWP., NJ - The Basking Ridge Indian Community (BRIC)'s version of the Holi Festival of Colors mixed tradition with local style, blending foods and Holi colors with presentations by local students and performers who tossed a lesson on the meaning of Holi and a sample of rap music in the mix.

The local Indian community has been holding a Holi celebration for 15 years, starting out at the The Hills community clubhouse.

But this year, the celebration - which is getting larger in scale - moved to the Oak Street School in downtown Basking Ridge. The entire community was invited to the event held on Sunday afternoon, April 9.

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Not everyone at the festival was Indian. Some other local students and their families wanted to learn about the Holi holiday, join the fun - and eat. A feast of Indian foods, from breads through sweets, was presented between cultural performances and playing Holi.

Presentations of dancing, singing and other performances by students and adults took place on the stage in the Oak Street auditorium, including a lesson for non-Indian participants on meaning of Holi. 

Ridge High School senior Nikhil Akenapalli and Karthik Iyer, a Ridge sophomore, sang a traditional Bollywood number with a sample of rap (original music) thrown in.

Rohan Jinktukar, a Ridge High School sophomore and member of the New Jersey Youth Symphony Orchestra, played viola - and he sang, too, playing Raag Kafi and two Hindi movie songs.

Playing Holi

Presentations and a buffet of Indian food was followed by the main event.

Participants headed outdoors to the school property and - following a spirited dance performance by women from Kavi's School of Dance that drew in the whole crowd - it was time for a game of Holi.

The Festival of Colors includes spreading around some joy - as well as throwing around intensely colored Holi powder that was provided for those who were playing.

The executive committee of BRIC, which presented the festival, included Anita Koppala; Sundari Rao Arni; Deven Shah; Deepesh Jiwani; Kruti Kapadia; Vandana Jain; Reena Singhvi; Ameetha Sankaranarayanan; and Madhavi and Goutham Puppala. 

The emcees for the cultural presentations included Arjun Agarwal; Diya Jain; Rohan Jain; Edwin Pavlovsky; Meghana Gummadi; Nupur Khanvilar; Sohan Choksi; and Siya Saraswat.


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