Punjabi Club to host 'Vaisakhi Mela'

04/18/2013 7:30 PM

04/18/2013 7:33 PM

LIVINGSTON -- The old gym at Livingston High School will taken on an Indian atmosphere Saturday as the Punjabi Club hosts its Vaisakhi Mela celebration.

The event, which is traditionally a celebration of the harvest season in India, will include cultural performances, games and food, said Basheer Grewal, a community resource liaison and a adviser to the Punjabi Club. She said the program will serve as a fundraiser for the group.

A carnival for children is set for 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and performances run from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Grewal said there will be a fashion show, folk dances, open dancing, male dances known as "bhangra" and female dances known as "giddha."

Mayor Pro Tem Gurpal Samra said he attended the group's program last year, which served as a small school event.

"When we get our young people involved, it's a great thing," he said. "Let them control things and make the future what they want it to be."

During the dancing portion of the celebration, Samra said he noticed a mix of traditional moves with contemporary dancing.

"Last year, it was interesting to see who kids adopted the old culture and mixed it with what they know," he said.

Tickets for Saturday's Vaisakhi Mela celebration are on sale for $5 and can be purchased from Livingston High School Punjabi Club members, Grewal said. Tickets can also be bought at the door for $10. Everyone is welcome to the event.

Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or mnorth@mercedsunstar.com.

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