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NKK Celebrates Ugaadi ; To Host 2012 AKKA World Kannada Conference in Atlanta
BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Over 500 Kannada speaking folks gathered at the Hindu Temple of Atlanta on March 23, 2012 to celebrate Ugaadi fueled with eager anticipation and exhilaration of hosting the World Kannada Conference (WKC) to be in held at the GICC (Georgia International Convention Center) in Atlanta. WKC is presented by Association of Kannada Kootas in America (AKKA). NKK also announced its new President, Pushpalatha Sudhi during the celebrations.
An array of cultural programs such as song and dance performances choreographed and presented by local kids and parents entertained the crowd. An elaborate drama sequence complete with detailed, colorful props and over 40 kids of all ages certainly offered plenty of opportunity for many kids to participate and parents to enjoy their stage performance. Many teenagers and youngsters were encouraged to help with the food and basically get involved in community activities. A new Executive committee for the year 2012 consisting of Balakrishna Madhusudhan, Indira Kadoor , Veena Madwesh and Aruna Gadekar, headed by Pushpalatha Sudhi was announced.
The added flavor was the announcement of various activities planned for WKC 2012 from August 31 to September 2 at GICC in Atlanta. WKC Conferences attract thousands of eager attendees, participants, sponsors, dignitaries and exhibitors from Atlanta, all states across the US, India and many parts of the world. The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Sadananda Gowda has accepted invitation from AKKA to inaugurate the conference. Govind.M.Karjol, Kannada & Culture Minister, R. Ashok, Transportation Minister and C.M.Udasi, Karnataka Public Works Minister have also accepted invitation from AKKA to be part of WKC 2012. Jnanpith Award Winner Dr. Chandrashekara Kambara will be part a distinguished guest of WKC 2012. More details about the conference is available online at http://www.akkaonline.org/2012
Ugaadi, is the New Year's Day for the people of the Deccan region of India. The Kannada, Marathi, Telugu and the Konkani diaspora in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, TamilNadu and Kerala celebrate the festival with great fanfare. While different regions follow different traditions, people of Karnataka celebrate Ugaadi with Bevu-Bella (Neem-Jaggery) symbolizing the fact that life is a mixture of joys and fears, both of which must be accepted with equanimity through the New Year. The name Ugaadi is derived from the Sanskrit words yuga (age) and ādi (beginning) - "the beginning of a new age".
The festivities ended with sumptuous food for everyone, including pizzas for the kids and eager anticipation and continuing preparations for the upcoming conference.