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SMAP Celebrates Shiv Jayanti

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Los Angeles/Mar 11, 2024 Singh

The SMAP Foundation, Inc organized Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Jayanti in the theatre of Jordan High School, Long Beach on Sunday, February 25, 2024. The festivities started with the traditional Marathi Dhol Tasha played by a group of young men and women and complemented with beautiful dance by a group of Lezim performers, mostly women. After the Dhol Tasha and dance display outside the theatre the celebration of Shiv Jayanti moved inside the theatre.

There were around 800 people gathered inside the theatre. SMAP president, Ashok Madan got the ball rolling by welcoming the people. Vijay Patil, founder of SMAP Foundation gave brief intro of SMAP and described SMAP’s 250 celebrations around the world! He summarized the mission of SMAP as ‘promoting Unity, Leadership and Community Servies using Indian National Heros as role models’. SMAP’s 350 committee highlighted the grand 3-day Shiv Rajyabhishek event that will be celebrated in from 21st to 23rd of June 2024. It was announced that a hard cover, colored, and coffee table size book will be published and released during the celebration of 350th Anniversary of Coronation of Chhatrpati Shivaji Maharaj in June. People were encouraged to be part of this memorable book by reserving a few pages for their personal profiles and/or their business advertisements.

A young and vibrant lady Vinaini Jayasinghe, a well known artist and choreographer, was introduced as Master of Ceremonies for the night. She handled her responsibility beautifully and made sure the activities roll along as planned.

After the traditional lamp Lighting and singing of national anthems of USA and India, the MC announced the cultural program. Manisha Sathe, Sonali Bhave and Paulomi Pandit’s groups presented cultural and patriotic dance performances.

After the conclusion of cultural events, MC called upon the keynote speaker, Dr. Deepinder Singh on stage. Dr. Singh spoke about Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He told the audience that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a great warrior and he being a successful ruler was because of his love for humanity. He respected all faiths equally.

After Dr. Singh’s speech, Military veterans. Major Gurjeet Singh, Capton R.D. Singh  were honored with plaques. The sponsors and key organizers were introduced and thanked for their support and hard work.

After all the announcements were done. it was time for the main event, the drama on the life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. This drama was presented by Los Angles Film and Theatre Arts (LAFTA). The drama was so beautifully presented and played by the artists that there was a pin drop silence from the start to the end of the play. The beauty of the drama was that the participants were not any professional artists but the ordinary family men and women. The drama was concluded with the live singing by a vibrant Punjabi singer Gagandeep Singh Sidhu and was complimented with the great Punjabi fervor of Bhangra by Blitz Bhangra that brought audience to their feet. They could be seen dancing on the floor while Bhangra was being performed on the stage.

Famous actor, Girja Shankar (who played Dhrutarashtra in Mahabharata serial) was the Chief Guest of the evening. Ashok Madan, president of SMAP, delivered the vote of thanks to the audience, the sponsors, and the artists.