India Night

February 26 marked the 27th annual India Night at South Dakota State University. The event, put on by the Indian Students’ Association, had nearly 600 people in attendance.

The celebration of Indian culture includes dances, songs and a menu of traditional dishes such as tandoori chicken, navratan kurma, naan, matar paneer, veg biryani and gulab jamun. Indian students, faculty and their families perform and help prepare the food every year for the large crowd that fills the University Student Union’s Volstorff Ballroom.

“Everyone works hard to make this event a success,” said Shashikanth Reddy, president of the SDSU Indian Students’ Association. “I really like people performing different dances and decorating Volstorff Ballroom with their innovative thoughts. It brings so much fun to people who watch it.”

At the event and on campus, six of the 22 official Indian languages are spoken. Hindi is the most common language in India, so everyone has a universal language to communicate. India Night is just one of the international nights that highlight the countries and cultures that SDSU students are from.

Reddy said that events like this are needed at SDSU.

“Every semester there are new students to campus … Having India Night is necessary so students from other countries can learn about India. The same goes for the other international nights; students get to learn about the many cultures,” he said.

For Reddy, who spends more than a month coordinating the event, it really brings a taste of his home country to his current home, America.

“Coming together, we feel like we are a family for that day,” he said. “When I was in different states, I felt like I was in the U.S. But after coming to SDSU, I really feel like I am at my home country, not the United States, because there are events like this that happen every year.”

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