CA Celebrates ‘EKTA’ showcasing Indian Culture and Traditions
USA: The India Catholic Association of South-East Michigan (ICA) celebrated “EKTA”, a spectacular event highlighting the vibrant Indian culture and traditions on Saturday, October 1st, 2016. With the presence of distinguished guest Archbishop of Detroit, Allen Henry Vigneron, it was surely one of the distinct milestones in the history of ICA.
The evening began with a special mass at St Valentine’s church, Redford Michigan presided by Archbishop Allen Vigneron and con-celebrants Fr Socorro Fernandes, Fr Henry Rebello, Fr Steve and Fr Richard D’Souza. Mass was beautifully coordinated and planned with the infusion of Indian elements by ICA chaplain Fr Socorro and ICA members Vanita Mascarenhas and Rosemarie Da Costa. Lesley Tauro led the choir accompanied with beautiful singing by Vivienne and John Lucksom, Vijay D’Souza, Linda Soares, Barbara and Vivek Jairazbhoy, Rosita Lobo, Sylvia D’Cruz, Dunstan Mascarenhas and Caji De Mello. Choir also saw beautiful singing of Marathi hymns by Lilly and Dominic D’Mello, Bill Lopes, Liz and Louis Lopes, John and Rosy Lopes, Marsha and Diago Lopes, Meena and James Rumao, Anna and William Rumao, Frejer and Ancilla Pereira, Mary and Simon Dias, Abhi and Charles Dias and Sybil Rodrigues. Flowers, light and incense were offered at offertory symbolizing benevolence and gratitude to God, with an elegant and graceful dance performance by Sharon Gonsalves, Joan Fonseca, Teena Fernandis and Sarita Dantas. After communion, Julia Tauro, Crystal Crasto and Sonia Baptist presented to the congregation, a sublime rendition of the hymn ‘Shout to the Lord’, beautifully choreographed by Rosemarie Da Costa.
The wonderful service at the church continued with a spectacular cultural programme and dinner at St Valentine’s gym, with Lloyd Williams as the Emcee who ensured the evening was fun and entertaining with his masterful emceeing. The hall was creatively decorated by Prem and Sylvia D’Cruz and Barbara Jairazbhoy with the theme of the evening, Ekta, symbolizing unity in Diversity.
The evening’s programme began with the singing of the Indian and American National Anthems by Anna Rumao and Rebecca Lucksom. ICA President, Stephen Dantas and ICA chaplain Rev. Fr. Socorro Fernandes followed this with a warm welcome to all the guests. Acknowledging the founders of the ICA, President Steven Dantas stressed to continue the legacy for which the India Catholic Community in Michigan was formed. Archbishop Allen Vigneron was presented with a shawl by youth member Nathan Crasto and garlanded by youth member Julia Tauro as a token of ICA’s gratitude and appreciation. Archbishop Allen Vigneron then addressed the audience, praising the Indian community for preserving its unique culture and tradition in Michigan and immensely grateful for sharing it with everyone.
The cultural programme saw various Indian dances, showcasing a slice of Indian culture. Everyone was riveted to their seats with the energetic and foot tapping Bollywood dance by ICA’s young kids Rebecca Lucksom, Maya and Sonia Baptist. Julia Tauro, Crystal Crasto and Rania Selvan and ably choreographed by Allison Mascarenhas. This was then followed with the elegant & graceful Corridinho, a Portuguese dance, choreographed by Nisha Meirless and accompanied by Kim and Vanita Coelho, Lisa and Alex Santiago, Ash and Caryle Carvalho. Lastly, the evening’s cultural program ended with a lively and spirited East Indian Fisherman’s Dance by Liz Lopes, Bill Lopes, Lilly and Dominic D’Mello, choreographed by Liz Lopes. All these dances covered the breadth of talented ICA in several age limits.
EKTA’s event chair Nisha Meirless gave a vote of thanks, thanking the Ekta Event Committee and the ICA Executive Committee Steve Dantas, Rohit Lobo, Sonia Fernandes and Tess Thomas. ICA’s youth member Ethan Lazarado later presented his work of charity for Palav, a foundation for helping infants with weak lungs, encouraging ICA members to donate and support it.
The evening concluded on a high note with dancing, DJed by Carlyle Carvalho and Kim Coelho. Ekta demonstrated true ICA’s spirit of unity, talent and commitment.
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By Teena Fernandis