ISA Presents Indian Cuisine and Traditional Dance at This Spring’s Charity Dinner

By Nora Tarabishi, Bloc Reporter 

More than 250 guests filled Stamp’s Grand Ballroom for the Indian Students’ Association’s largest event of the semester, The ISA Spring Charity Dinner, held April 10.

The event began at 6:30 p.m. and attendees lined up outside the Grand Ballroom in preparation for the all-you-can-eat Indian buffet and live dance performances.

Indique Heights, the 2014 winner of the Diners’ Choice Award, catered the food. Food items included chole, naan, dal, rice and butter chicken.

The event opened with Anokha, a South Asian-American a cappella group at this university, singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” followed by the Indian national anthem, “Jana Gana Mana.”

Dance productions included performances by university groups Prima Dolls, TerraPind Bhangra, Maryland Dhoom and UMD EntouRAAS. The four groups performed at the ISA’s Fall Charity Dinner, said Amrita Bhatt, the vice president of communications for the ISA.

Padma Tipparaju/For The Bloc~EntouRAAS performs "Raas-Garba," a genre originating from Gujarat, India.
Padma Tipparaju/ For The Bloc~EntouRAAS performs “Raas-Garba,” a genre originating from Gujarat, India.

EntouRASS wore vibrant blue, green, orange and purple colored costumes and danced to traditional “Raas-Garba” music, a genre originating from Gujarat, India where performers energetically dance with sticks in circular form.

TerraPind Bhangra wore black shirts and danced to a mixture of “Bhangra” music, a fast-paced genre originating from Punjab, India, and American dance music.

“They [TerraPind Bhangra] had so much energy,” Rachel Richardson, a senior government and politics major, said. “It was clear how hard they worked on their performance.”

Richardson, who had attended the ISA’s charity dinner once before, said this year’s event was much like the last with “great food and really talented student dance groups.”

Richardson said her favorite part of the event was the food.

Padma Tipparaju/ For The Bloc~Attendees enjoy an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet.
Padma Tipparaju/ For The Bloc~Attendees enjoy an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet.

“I always leave the dinner, after two helpings, very full and very content,” Richardson said. “I know it’s catered by one of the best Indian restaurants in D.C. and you can tell.”

Sophomore Sahaana Arumugam, a public health and Persian studies double major, said she attended because of her love for Indique Heights’ food.

“I’ve been to other events and parties that were catered by Indique Heights in the past; their food is delicious,” Arumugam said.

Tickets cost $10 and the ISA donated all money to HIPS and A Wider Circle.

In previous years, the ISA donated to charities based in India. This year the ISA did something different.

“We all decided it would be a better idea to do something locally,” Bhatt said. “Just seeing the impact locally, [let’s us] know what’s happening. You get more satisfaction when you see the impact that you’re making.”

The ISA raised about $300 from the event and looks forward to another charity dinner in the fall semester, Bhatt said.

Bhatt said she felt satisfied with the event.

“Everything ran pretty smoothly.That was a pretty great turnout,” Bhatt said. “The performances went really great and everyone in the audience enjoyed them.”

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