Standup comedy, traditional Haryanvi music and performances of Bollywood stars mesmerised resident and non-resident Haryanvis who attended the first Pravasi Haryana Divas in the city on Tuesday.
Comedian Surender Sharma regaled the audience with his experiences abroad, and the entire hall reverberated with laughter when he said that most non-resident Indians (NRIs), particularly Haryanvis, came to the country to beat their children as this was not allowed in the West.
“Unless we beat our sons, it doesn’t look like they are being raised in the right manner,” Sharma said.
His advice to married men was that they should not reach homes with a smile on their faces as that could invite an adverse reaction from their spouses.
He also asked the pravasi Haryanvis to remember their ethos and traditions, and remain grounded in their culture.
Next to take the stage was renowned playback singer Sonu Nigam, who admitted that it was a great occasion for him to be invited and honoured by the state.
“I have always said I am from Haryana but it is for the first time that Haryana has called me its own,” Nigam said.
He also recalled his days in Faridabad and regretted that his family had to sell their ancestral home in the city.
Nigam sang his popular Bollywood songs and was later mobbed by people eager to get selfies clicked with him.
A Haryanvi orchestra comprising 70 artistes played traditional Haryanvi instruments at the event.
The artistes also presented dances choreographed to the tune Haryanvi folk songs and these were appreciated by the audience.
Haryanvi pop singer Gajender Phogat sang “Ib duniya walo serious leo Haryana (People of the world, take Haryana seriously now)” in which he described the traditional food, drinks and culture of the state.
Standup comedian Arun Jaimini spoke about the wit of the Haryanvis and how people of the state used humour to overcome difficulties in life.
“Haryanvis are simple people who take life not so seriously and that is the reason they are known to be straightforward, which is taken otherwise,” Jaimini said.
Artistes from Kingdom of Dreams also performed at the Nautanki Mahal — the main venue of cultural programmes. Kingdom of Dreams has been decked up with colourful lights and other decorations for the two-day event.