South Asia on Display
“What a night!!!” (Showcase your Culture, 4th April 2016)
Mary-Anne Khishani Rajakumar, 2nd May 2016
On the 2nd of April the Sydney Suburb of Carlingford was the spot to be in for a very South Asian cultural experience. Showcase your Culture 2016 was held at Roselea Community centre. An event that featured a variety of exceptional artists representing numerous South Asian backgrounds.
Such a unique event was envisioned by a couple of university student from the SUTS (Sydney University Tamil Society) in collaboration with the Sydney University Pakistani Culture Appreciation Society. First launching in 2013, Showcase was a youth project conducted under the Auspices of Music NSW and the NSW Department for Trade & Investment. The core vision behind the program was to showcase and as well as to inspire South Asian talent and culture through Arts. This year, the proceeds of the night went towards the Australian Medical Aid Foundations and 40K Group charities.
“Unfortunately there is a little bit of stigma against being creative in our community and we need people to break down that barrier and encourage people to commit to their creative side as well” (A.Jayanandan, 2016). According to Arkash Jayanandan, the President of the SUTS, it was himself and another member of the SUTS, a musician who, “noticed a lack of focus on the arts in our culture. He also realised that the only way to get more people of South Asian origin in the media was through events that showcase the best talent in the community.”
The night presented itself with so many forms from performances of dancing, vocal artistry, stand-up comedy, musical pieces, visual arts exhibitions, stalls of South Asian cultural fashion, a make-up artist and food. All, incorporating art forms and connections with South Asia.
“You could be very surprised how powerful it is to see another person from the same culture do what you have always wantedto do, it almost gives you permission to pursue it” (A.Jayanandan, 2016). The concepts of inspiring people to pursue/express creative art aptitudes was birthed.
Mystic Bollywood, a girls fusion Bollywood dance group/company was one of many perform on the night via their lyrical expression into an intricate, unforgettable performance. Loose Motion, brought the audience to absolute amusement with a hint of South Asia in some, relatable banter in stand-up comedy. That all just being the tip of the iceberg. The night also consisted of vocal artists Gul Hora, Billy-X and Aathi, Ekansh Sydney University Indian Cultural Society and several others.
The Rising Future Stars for the night displayed great talent even at a very young age. 10 year-old Vithya from the Indian Dance School stole the show that night with her Tamil fusion, expressing her motherland roots through the art form of dance. Showcase your Culture’s Facebook page stated, “Keep a look out for these guys because they have so much potential!”
Gajaanie Nandanakumar, the Vice President of the SUTS was utterly pleased with the night overall. “The feedback we got was very positive, especially in regards to the ‘cultural bazaar’ we held during the intermission which aimed to transport people to South Asia with stalls selling saris, make-up, henna services and more. The bazaar also showcased a gallery of visual art which people found particularly enjoyable” (G.Nandanakumar, 2016). “It was something that had never been done before at a community show” Arkash added, “Wonderful, interactive stalls” (Showcase your Culture 2016, 4th April 2016). Showcase 2016’s bazaar was bursting with traditional and talented stalls. Aside from the performing arts aspects, visual arts was also a unique addition. Drawingsbykhishani, Suki Bee Art, work by S.Nagaeajan and also art from N.Harithupan. Food and Beverages on the night were provided in the bazaar by a team from Mithu’s Restaurant, providing snack-packs and who also sponsored the event.
It was 18 year old university student Zainab’s first time attending a Showcase event. “It was a fun night!” She expressed that her favourite part of the night were the performances. “They were quite entertaining” (Zainab.K, 2016). Young people from the South Asian Community in Sydney had the chance “to share their work with the wider Australian community, as well as build awareness of and support for various humanitarian and charitable needs” (G.Nandanakumar, 2016).
Despite not being able to sell more tickets than expected, the night was still regarded as an overall success as funds where thus collected for a charitable cause.
“Moreover, this event was successful thanks to the funds raised for the 2 incredible charities we chose to support this year, AMAF (Australian Medical Aid Foundation), as well as the 40K Group India” humbly stated Miss Nandanakumar.
The family event is an experience that you don’t want to miss next time. Supporting such event will achieve an appreciation for arts and at the same time raise funds for charity. This here being a perfect example of young people in our community trying to make a difference.
Information on showcase your Culture can be found at; https://www.facebook.com/showcaseyourculture/.
- SHOWCASE | APRIL 2ND 2016 | ROSELEA COMMUNITY CENTRE
- Basic skim of Carlingford, NSW: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlingford,_New_South_Wales
- Roselea Community Centre:
- Article Title: Mystik Bollywood Fusion Dance Company Sydney
Website Title: Mystik Bollywood Fusion Dance Company Sydney
- Facebook Event ~ SHOWCASE 2016:
Mary-Anne Khishani Rajakumar