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“The Basant Kite Festival”


“The Basant Kite Festival” on Feb 19 at Cherry Valley, CA

Sunday, February 19,2012

 Last week Riverside county Edward-Dean museum; India association of Inland Empire; Virsa American Punjabi Club; Pakistan Urdu writers Society of North America and people of India and Pakistani origin celebrated and shared the culture with other community members In a small town of Cherry Valley which is tucked in the foothills of san Gorgonio mountains close to Oak Glen on north and Banning and Beaumont on south side. Edward-Dean Museum & Gardens sits on 16 acres of land on 3500’ elevation in this small town which was one time house of lot of famous people from Hollywood who settled down in cherry valley. Back in Fifties lot of people started moving from Hollywood Los Angles to desert
because of bad weather and unhealthy air. Lot of celebrity’s build their houses in Palm Springs and Palm Desert, but some of them who could not handle 120 degree temperatures in summer settled in Cherry valley. Two gentle men Edward Eberle and Dean Stout who were interior decorators and antique dealers had their antique shop in Beverly Hills’ also moved to cherry valley and bought 40 acres of land in Cherry valley. They were fascinated with European and oriental cultures and they were collecting artifacts from India, China, and Japan as well as from European countries, established this Art and cultural center in cherry valley. This is known as Edward-Dean Museum. &  Gardens.

This Sunday in spite the bad weather people of all ages gathered at the beautiful grounds of Edward-Dean museum to fly kites and celebrate Indian Basant festival of spring. Children learned the kite making and kite flying techniques. They also experienced the excitement of holding a kite when it is flying high in the sky.These days children and even some of the adults spend most of their time in front of TV or computers for fun or because of their work. This was a very positive
family fun activity for them. Lot of Moms & Dads came with their children and had a wonderful time flying kites and spending time together.

The day as started by Gneshji and Sarasvati puja by the young students from Bala VIhar  vedic School of Inland Empire. Sagarika Chidella; Pratyusha Dasari; Mohan asari; Suyashi Shodhan; ShivajiKapur; Keshav Kapur;  VirajNigam Rahul Athreya; Sachi PawooskarAlmedia Vibha Athreya;Chitanya Kandavilli; Vaishnavi Kandavilli; Karan Mehtaji;Yukta Mehtaji;Arjun Ayyappan; Anjali Ayyappan; Tulsi Patel Students ages from 4 to 12 performed the puja reading Sanskrit shalokas in Sanskrit and translating in English. Savina Chidella and Raj Chidella work very hard to pass this knowledge to our younger children. If you would like to educate your children with our Vedic culture you can contact Raj or Savina at 714-210-9725

Second Group Mighty Khalsa group from inland empire all dress up in their traditional attire also from ages 5-12 performed Kirtan in basant raga. Kenveer Singh; Sumeet Kaur --harmonium player Kuljeet Kaur -- harmonium player; Ashwin Singh; Milandeep singh; Anantdeep singh; Amandeep singh; Rehamjot singh; Sukhman singh; Vishavdeep kaur; Kawal kaur; Harry singh --tabla player  not only sang in basant raga they also played the harmonium and table by themselves while explaining what they were singing. Simran Kaur  Sammi a young mother work very hard to teach kirtan in traditional ragas to children of five years of ages and above. Another group Har kiran Kaur: Harinder singh;  Pavit singh And HarJapaji Singh, trained by Bhai Naib Singh ji from Sikh temple Riverside recite the Shabad in Basant raga. Dressed up in their beautiful attire mesmerized the public with their devotional singing.  During this time while some people were enjoying the music and others were enjoying flying kites and doing shopping from the food jewelry and clothes booths or making kites outside the main building. This program was more than just entertainment; we were trying to showcase different aspects of Basant Day celebration. Sarabani Bhatachariya a classical singer entertained the audience with her melodies voice in classical ragas.

A very talentd new star, Deepak Khandagale moved to this area after performing with lot of movie stars in different bollywood movies shred his talent of break-dance ( Bollywood style)  with the audience and everyone was mesmerized with his body movements. Deepak is planning to open a dance school in inland area. You can contact him at 760-684-2460.

After noon secition brought the excitement of Mushaira by Pakistan Urdu writer’s society of North America. Irfan Murtaza president of this society who became very popular with his poem” Jo bhi tha kiya thora tha” wrote several books and very popular in Pakistan and American Pakistani community. Other Honorary poets who shared their klams in this mushaira  were Tabish Khanjada, Majeed Akhtar; ZaffarAbbas; Wasi Naqqaash; Atiya Niyazi; and Asad- Ul-ah Hussaini Chakkar and Sadia Sohail with her melodies voice host the mushaira. We are very fortunate and grateful of Pakistan Urdu Writers society who honored us by accepting our invitation and shared with us this caliber of poets to share their poetry in this festival with us in little town of Cherry valley and Edward-Dean Museum and gardens. We are very grateful of our friends, media and participants who made this event a successful event. I am thankful to TVAsia , Press Enterprise, Banning Beaumont Patch, and who provide coverage for the event and shared this with public who for some reason  were not able to attend  this year with us but sure will be looking forward to be here next year sane time third Sunday of February 24th, 2013.