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Kanwal Prakash (KP) Singh




Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
February 19, 2012
Kanwal Prakash Singh

International Marketplace Welcome Center Indianapolis, Indiana USA

Among the many officially designated Super celebrations sites during Super Bowl XLVI was the Service Center for Contemporary Culture and Community run by the Lafayette Square Area Coalition.  Five miles north and west of Downtown Indianapolis (the heart and soul of Super Bowl festivities, the imaginative and rocking Super Bowl Village, and the gathering place of throngs of fans and celebrities from around the country), the Lafayette Square Area is home to dozens of ethnic restaurants, grocery stores, and boutique shops.  Gradually building the reputation of a vibrant and attractive future International Marketplace, it became the natural venue for three nights of World Party: The Americas, Africa, and Asia/India.

For three days and evenings (February 2-4), the Welcome Center opened its doors to the public and to the guests who were in town for the Super Bowl.  The Latin, African, and Asian/Indian/ Punjabi Groups organized colorful displays (national flags, travel posters, festive fabrics and costumes, African headdresses, jewelry, piñatas), traditional snacks, entertainment, and introduced the City’s diverse cultures and international spirit to the visitors.  A star attraction, the NFL’s Detroit Lions Super car, anchored the cultural display area.  Each evening, professional and local groups, in colorful national costumes, bejeweled and brocaded outfits and turbans, performed popular traditional folkdances and partied to ethnic music played by DJ Kyle Long.  The groups encouraged and welcomed audience and guest participation. 

On Asia/India/Punjabi Super Night, the Welcome Center turned into a multi-generational, multicultural Punjabi winter festival, with all the participants, audience members, and guests dancing to the rocking Bhangra and Giddha music.  The Bhangra and Jaggo dances, the famous folkdances of the Punjab, are fast becoming a global rage.  The Asia/Punjabi Super Night was sponsored by The Sikh Educational and Cultural Society of Indianapolis. 

International Super Celebrations, to coincide with the Super Bowl XLVI, was a beautiful idea.  The once-distant Latin, African, and Asian cultures have crossed the frontiers of time and space and are being shared with audiences across today’s interconnected world.  Imagine that a mini cultural showcase was a part of one of the biggest sporting events in the world.  No giant cultural leap, but something to be proud of and to build upon before the next Super Bowl or other world-class gatherings at our amazing crossroads and the newly-discovered capital of the Midwest.