Bathukamma 2009 festival celebrations organized by Telangana Community, Inc., were held on Saturday, Sep 26th.
The colorful event, held at South Forsyth Middle School, Suwanee, began around 12 noon with the ladies and children arriving in their finest traditional dresses carrying their beautiful Bathukamma’s. The organizers warmed up the occasion with the kid’s games, while their parents socialized and recollected memories of the occasion.
Mr. G.S.Reddy, President of Telangana Community gave his inaugural speech signifying the Bathukamma celebrations and thanked the attendees for the record turnout of an estimated 900 people, who attended in spite of inclement weather. He warmly welcomed all the participants and spoke about the objectives of Telangana Community and how the organization intends to look beyond the occasion involving itself in various development projects across the Telangana region.
Mr. Narender Reddy welcomed & invited the Chief Guest Mayor of Suwanee City Mr. David Williams to light the lamp. Mayor Williams also released the Telangana Community Member Directory and addressed the audience on the occasion. A Bathukamma was presented to Mayor to take home with him.
The event continued with many cultural programs such as Group and Solo Dances by children of all ages, mostly related to folk. Each program was blended around the Telangana culture bringing everyone close to the homeland. Other events such as Fancy Dress Competitions for various age groups, Raffle draws, etc. were also held cheering up and involving the audience.
Mrs. Sulochana Reddy was recognized for her outstanding career in Information Technology serving over three decades. A plaque was presented to her by Narender Reddy. Earlier G.S. Reddy awarded a plaque to Viju Chiluveru for his outstanding services to the Community during the year.
On behalf of the Telangana Community, a presentation was made by Mr. Ranjith Ganta on the clean water initiative by the organization. He explained how the organization was helping build Water purification projects at various villages in Telangana.
The well awaited Bathukamma's finally got their attention in the evening. All the women gathered and placed their Bathukamma’s in the middle and danced around them, synchronizing steps and claps in unison, and singing soul stirring Bathukamma folksongs. After singing and dancing around the Bathukamma’s for sometime, they were taken to the nearby swimming pool and set afloat in the water. The judges picked the Best three Bathukamma’s for this year and prizes were distributed for their makers. The other event prizes were also announced and given out to the participants as the program progressed.
Local restaurants such as Sai Murali, Swapna Indian Cusine, Madras Chettinad, Krishna Vilas, Amma’s Kitchen & Maruti restaurant, generously sponsored the free lunch for all the participants.
The event was a huge success thanks to a generous contribution by several businesses and individuals who sponsored the event and other patrons. The organizers greatly appreciated and acknowledged the efforts of more than 60 volunteers for their relentless hard work and without whose active support the event could not have been so successful. Sushumna Ravichander proposed ‘Vote of Thanks’ and appreciated the efforts organizers, women who arranged and brought Bathukamma’s, volunteers, sponsors and everyone involved in the events.
This event was ably supported by Telugu Association of Metro Atlanta (TAMA). Satyanarayana Reddy Tangirala and Executive Committee members were present at the event, the event was graced by many prominent and out of town people, mainly Paddy Sharma, a community leader. - Manju Ganta