It was a celebration of the Pahadi spirit in Singapore when the Uttarakhandi community came together on August 18, 2019 to celebrate ‘Kauthig Singapore 2019’.
‘Kauthig’ means ‘funfair’ or mela in Pahadi, and as the name suggests, this turned out to be a cheerful and colourful affair, with a huge turnout. Apart from local residents, visiting artists added to this cultural event.
Sunil Thapliyal, President of the Uttarakhand Association of Singapore, emphasised the significance of remaining associated to one’s roots through art, culture, and language for happiness and to be able to give back to the community and society at large.
The Indian High Commissioner to Singapore, HE Jawed Ashraf was the Chief Guest who wholeheartedly appreciated the effort by the Association, especially for engaging people of all age groups. He also urged the Uttarkhandi youth to visit the beautiful Himalayan state and explore huge opportunities being created for startups and entrepreneurs.
The event started with a traditional welcome featuring tea and Pakora, typical pahadi style, that set a very happy and friendly atmosphere for people to meet and greet each other. Soon after the arrival of the chief guest, there was a rendition of the traditional Ganesh Vandana by Amit Sagar. The arrival of Nanda Devi ka Dola (procession of Nanda Devi) on the stage set a very emotional and devotional mood amongst all those present.
Video greetings by Uttrakhand Chief Minister, Trivendra Singh Rawat and Tourism Minister, Satpalji Maharaj were also played.
The evening then turned lively when visiting singers Amit Sagar and Maya Upadhyay along with stand up comedian Ghanna Bhai, musicians Vinod Chauhan, Satendra Singh, and Vijay Bisht enthralled the audience with their foot-tapping music. They quickly brought the guests to their feet as people from all age groups danced and enjoyed themselves. Most of the live singing was accompanied by dance performances choreographed by Neelam Rawat.
Apart from this, creative visuals by Ashish Raikwal played on a large digital screen helped create a charming atmosphere that transported the audience to the hills of Uttarakhand.
At the event, Mr and Mrs Ravi Dabral were bestowed with the “Uttarakhand Gaurav” award for their contribution to the association and community at large through their popular book “Greed Lust Addiction” authored by Ravi Dabral. Guests also won lucky dip prizes that included stays at wellness retreats nestled in the serene Himalayan region.
The event was concluded with a traditional buffet dinner that had finger-licking food, typical of the State.
The next day, the visiting artists went sightseeing and also participated in a special “meet and greet” session hosted at “Bones and Barrels” owned by Sunil Pant.