The Indian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam organized UTSAV 2011 at the Van Thanh Resort in Ho Chi Minh City's Binh Thanh District on Saturday, calling it a "celebration beyond borders."
More than five hundred Indians, Vietnamese and other expatriates from other countries got together at the resort to have a rollicking time as the Indian expats celebrated the traditional New Year festivals of several communities with a wide variety of Indian cuisine from different parts of the country and an evening of Indian pop and folk music.
This year, no artistes from India were invited perform, and the Indian expat teenagers and other children stepped on to the stage to showcase their talents, enthusiastically cheered on by the crowd.
UTSAV brought together several festivals that occur during this part of the year, including Baisakhi in Punjab, Gudi Padwa in Maharasthra, Nabo Barsho in West Bengal, Vishu in Kerala, Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh, Bihu in Assam and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu. The Indian performances reflected this diversity.
Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae said the event was also part an on-going process of strengthening the relationship between Vietnam and India.
Mohan Kumar, Incham Chairman, said the Indian community had been celebrating their country's cultural diversity with this event since 2007. It was not only a chance for the Indians to celebrate their traditional festivals, but also an opportunity for them to introduce their culture to people from other countries, especially Vietnamese citizens, he added.