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Detroit Telugu Association (DTA) celebrated Sankranthi festival in a high school auditorium on Jan 21, 2006. DTA is one of the most reputed and largest Telugu associations in North America.
The celebrations started at 5:30 pm. At the entrance, beautiful muggulu, Gobbemmalu and gangireddu along with basavanna welcomed the guests. The occasion was graced by app 700 telugu people. A mouth-watering delicious Telugu bhojanam was served by Priya restaurant.
The event started with DTA youth singing Vandemataram followed by the American national anthem. The cultural program started with Ganapathi dance by Shriya and Dhyana. DTA president Ms.Vanita Reddy in her welcome address, gave a warm and hearty welcome along with Sankranthi greetings. She explained the importance of Sankranthi festival, a brief history of DTA and appealed to the parents to show their commitment in teaching our rich heritage, culture and values to our kids. She specifically urged the parents to teach our proud and sweet telugu language to our children, which has been immensely praised even by non-telugu eminent persons like Srikrishna devarayalu and Taanisha. Her speech was received with spell bound audience and received high acclaims by young and old alike. She also appealed to the kids and youth to get involved in the community activities and to take an active role in the DTA programs throught the year.
Indian classical dances, Folk dances and dances for telugu movie songs were done beautifully by Neha Reddy Baddam, Nishant and Spandana Alluri, Madhumita Sanam, Apporva aekka, Navya and Tulasi Talluri, Srividya vishnubotla, Ananya and many other DTA kids and youth.
To symbolize Sankranthi a Gangireddu skit was played by DTA president Vanita Reddy and Gen. Secretary Ramana Mudeganti which received a lot of attention and admiration. In this playlet when the Basavanna asks the gangireddu if he likes India or America, the gangireddu nods for America, and also nods saying that he does not need any “Metha” and can survive driniking just coke, and says that he (gangireddu) wants to apply for green card through a popular Detroit immigration lawyer Dr. Amarnath Gowda. and this made the audience burst into laughter.
It was emotionally touching to see Master. Srinivas Saran Madakasira, a visually challenged telugu youngster from Kalamazoo, Michigan, play songs on keyboard which were sung by famous play back singers Kishore Kumar (hindi) and SP Balasubramanyam (telugu). Saran self-taught both violin and keyboard without any formal teachers. He was a true inspiration to the DTA community.
President of Telugu Association of North America (TANA), Dr. Hanumiah Bandla, Convenor of TANA 2005 conference Dr. Srinivas Kodali and other TANA conference committee members presented a letter to Mrs. Vanita Reddy, 2006 DTA president, which states that an amount of $70,000 (seventy thousands) will be donated to DTA , as a token of appreciation for the efforts and support of Detroit telugu community in making 2005 TANA conference very successful which was held in Detroit. The first DVD copy of the 2005 TANA conference was ceremonially presented to Mrs. Vanita Reddy by TANA members.
Second half of the event consisted of a wonderful musical program with popular Telugu singers from North America. Mr. Viswa Mohan from Kansas city , Mr. Kommaraju Prasad from North Carolina, Mr. Venkat Aekka , Dr.Harinath Policherla, Mrs. Alkananda Jupudi, and Mrs. Vasudha from Detrot. They were accompanied by keyboard player Sridhar vaidyanadhan and Tabla player Jay Antani, who are also from Detroit. They enthralled the audience with their melodius singing. The program concluded with the team singing a patriotic song (Indian). In all, it was an excellent program, well organized and executed which took all the guests to Andhra Pradesh for those few hours.