Sikh Students Association hosts annual Punjabi Culture Night

The Amphitheater was packed with performances, crafts, food and flu shots Thursday

Students wandered throughout the windy Amphitheater Thursday, sporting both bandaids on their shoulders and plates full of traditional Indian dishes in their hands. The Sikh Students Association hosted their annual Punjabi Culture Night, complete with not only free food and numerous cultural performances and activities, but flu shots as well. The SSA offered attendees free flu shots with insurance through CVS in order to alleviate a practical health concern during the colder months while attendees celebrated Punjabi culture. 

Called the Land of Five Rivers, the state of Punjab is nestled on India’s northwest border with Pakistan and is home to both a wealth of culture and the majority of the Sikh population. Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world. Second-year College student Karmine Malhi described how the SSA hoped to bring the culture of Punjab to the University...

...As the evening wound down, a small team of colorfully-dressed dancers from Virginia Di Shaan took the Amphitheater stage to perform a traditional Indian dance, Bhangra. Virginia Di Shaan participates yearly in Bhangra Blowout, an international collegiate South Asian dance competition.

“We have a couple of people who are on the executive board that do Bhangra,” Dhillon said. “It’s a classical form of dance, when it was first originated it was mainly for males, but then it became more of a female, male thing. Now there's huge competitions and multiple teams from various places. There’s an official team [at] U.Va. I know there's an official team [at] VCU ... UMD, George Mason [and] Virginia Tech … They have this huge competition.”

Around 7:30 p.m., the SSA began to clean up the event. Only the quiet melody of traditional dance music and stacks of empty trays that once held piles of sweet and savory Indian foods hinted at the piece of Punjab that lived there moments before.

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