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Bhangra MoBarack for new US president

To the list of balls, concerts and galas marking Obama’s inauguration, add a desi celebration. The Sikh Inaugural Ball will be held on the night of Jan 20, a few blocks from the White House. V Krishna reports.

world Updated: Jan 17, 2009 02:16 IST
V. Krishna

To the list of balls, concerts and galas marking Barack Obama’s inauguration, add a desi celebration. The Sikh Inaugural Ball (sikhinauguralball.com) will be held on the night of January 20 at The India Experience/Ascot Restaurant on L Street, a few blocks from the White House.

The theme will be ‘Bhangra MoBarack’, say the organisers, Lakhinder Vohra and his wife Gurveen Kaur Vohra.
In addition to dhol, the musical fare will include Indian film songs and R&B numbers. “It’ll be a celebration for the people, not the leaders,” Lakhinder Vohra told HT. He wants Washington to know that the Indian-American community has arrived.

Tickets cost $150 (with two drinks) and $250 (with open bar and a nicer gift). Food is included.

A Sikh Chamber of Commerce, intended to help professionals and businessmen network, would also be launched at the party, said Vohra, a web evangelist who lives in Woodbridge, Virginia. His wife runs an event marketing firm.

Many other Indian-American and South Asian events are also planned.

South Asians for Obama, a group that campaigned for the president-elect, is holding a cocktail on Saturday. A reception by South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow on Sunday will celebrate the community’s engagement in the election. Democratic heavyweights Sunita Leeds, Shekar Narasimhan and Mahinder Tak will host an invitation-only ‘Celebration of Indian American Leadership’ in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on Monday.

The official events kick off with a free concert on Sunday afternoon at the Lincoln Memorial. ‘We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration’ — which will feature U2, Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow and Herbie Hancock among others — is expected to draw half a million people.