2018 Holiday Gift Guide
BELLAIRE • MEMORIAL • RIVER OAKS • TANGLEWOOD • WEST UNIVERSITY

Diwali Celebration 2018

Click the Buzz Me button to receive email notifications when this writer publishes a new article or a new article in this column is published.
Saraswati Reddy, Bharti Shah, Bhuvana Krishnan, Suseela Dendalaru

Volunteers (front row, from left) Saraswati Reddy, Bharti Shah and (back row, from left) Bhuvana Krishnan and Suseela Dendalaru welcomed guests as they entered the park. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

Despite Saturday’s cold and damp forecast, roughly 480 community members flocked to Evelyn’s Park for the city’s 10th annual city-wide celebration of Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights and New Year. Each part of the park was occupied by booths with attractions. One side featured a mehndi station, where attendees had their hands decorated with henna, while another had an arts and crafts table where children decorated diyas, oil lamps traditionally lit on Diwali. On the other side of the park, attendees mingled while tasting food from one of five different booths offering options ranging from spicy Indian street-food to savory vegetable curries and warm breads.

Andrew Friedberg, Neil Verma, Trisha Pollard, David Montague

Mayor Andrew Friedberg delivered a proclamation alongside Council Members Neil Verma, Michael Fife and David Montague. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

This year’s event marked the largest Diwali Bazaar the city has seen. I remember attending the first Bellaire Diwali celebration 10 years ago. Then, it was held on the second floor of the Bellaire Family Aquatic Center. At that event, then Bellaire Mayor Pro Tem Phil Nauert issued an official proclamation declaring that the City officially recognized that day as Diwali. That tradition has continued; Bellaire Mayor Andrew Friedberg, alongside Bellaire Council Members Neil Verma, Michael Fife and David Montague, issued a proclamation recognizing Nov. 10, 2018 as "Diwali Day" in the City of Bellaire. 

What has changed, though, is the scale of the event. In 2008, about 75 people attended. Since then, it has steadily grown, soon attracting over 200 people by its fourth year and testing the capacity of the Bellaire Civic Center. To accommodate more community members, the event organizers decided to hold this year’s event at Evelyn’s Park.

Children performing Bollywood dance

Children taught by Kajal Desai, who teaches dance classes at the West U Rec Center, performed a Bollywood dance act. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

 

"Bellaire Diwali just keeps getting bigger and better every year! It was wonderful to join in celebration with so many of our neighbors, longtime attendees and newcomers alike, and to be able to host the event at beautiful Evelyn's Park. A truly special evening for all of Bellaire," Mayor Friedberg said after the event. 

This year also saw an uptick in resident participation. In a central stage in the park featured multiple dance and singing performances from children and adults. In one act, three to five-year old kids performed an upbeat dance to Bollywood songs. In another, an adult Bollywood karaoke group sang duets.

Himanshu Upadhyaya, Vidya Upadhyaya

Bellaire residents Vidya Upadhyaya (left) and Himanshu Upadhyaya (right) sang a karaoke duet. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

In closing remarks to the attendees, the event’s lead organizer and Bellaire resident G.V. Krishnan thanked the volunteers who helped execute the event as well as the City of Bellaire and the Bellaire Police Department for their continued support as the event continues to grow. 

“Who knows, next year it could be in the Astrodome,” Krishnan remarked to the audience.

  • Four generations

    Four generations of Yogesh Shah and wife Bharati Shah's family attended the Diwali Bazaar. (From left) are Rita Gordon, Amishi Shah, Bharati Shah, Yogesh Shah, Ross Gordon and Sharad Shah. Front: Kavi Gordon. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)  

  • Chandni Kumar

    Bellaire resident Chandni Kumar (pictured, center) helped greet guests by applying vermillion powder on their foreheads. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

  • Rangoli

    The park was decorated with Rangoli, a traditional Indian art form where patterns are made using colored materials. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

  • Rukmini Das

    Bellaire resident Rukmini Das performed a classical Indian dance. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

  • Community members

    Hundreds of community members gathered in Evelyn Park to celebrate Diwali. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

  • Mehndi

    Attendees had their hands decorated with mehndi, a traditional form of Indian body art. (Photo: G.V. Krishnan)

  • Children dancing

    Children of Bellaire residents performed a dance choreographed by Ruchika Dias from Bollywood Shake Dance School. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

     

  • Sharan Kaur

    West U resident Sharan Kaur sang the U.S. national anthem followed by the Indian national anthem at the event’s opening. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

  • Bhagyashree Darti Rathi

    Bellaire resident Bhagyashree Darti Rathi performed a rendition of Bollywood song Dil Hai Chota Sa. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

     

  • Four generations
  • Chandni Kumar
  • Rangoli
  • Rukmini Das
  • Community members
  • Mehndi
  • Children dancing
  • Sharan Kaur
  • Bhagyashree Darti Rathi

More photos

Four generations

Four generations of Yogesh Shah and wife Bharati Shah's family attended the Diwali Bazaar. (From left) are Rita Gordon, Amishi Shah, Bharati Shah, Yogesh Shah, Ross Gordon and Sharad Shah. Front: Kavi Gordon. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)  

Chandni Kumar

Bellaire resident Chandni Kumar (pictured, center) helped greet guests by applying vermillion powder on their foreheads. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

Rangoli

The park was decorated with Rangoli, a traditional Indian art form where patterns are made using colored materials. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

Rukmini Das

Bellaire resident Rukmini Das performed a classical Indian dance. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

Community members

Hundreds of community members gathered in Evelyn Park to celebrate Diwali. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

Mehndi

Attendees had their hands decorated with mehndi, a traditional form of Indian body art. (Photo: G.V. Krishnan)

Children dancing

Children of Bellaire residents performed a dance choreographed by Ruchika Dias from Bollywood Shake Dance School. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

 

Sharan Kaur

West U resident Sharan Kaur sang the U.S. national anthem followed by the Indian national anthem at the event’s opening. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

Bhagyashree Darti Rathi

Bellaire resident Bhagyashree Darti Rathi performed a rendition of Bollywood song Dil Hai Chota Sa. (Photo: Roshni Kumar)

 

To leave a comment, please log in or create an account with The Buzz Magazines, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Or you may post as a guest.