【Highlights】2022 Indian Thrivarna Festival

The Indians in NTOU, in cooperation with the Office of International Affairs and Indian Embassy in Taiwan, for its second year, organized and sponsored another Indian Cultural Festival called NTOU Thrivaran 2022 last January 8, 2022, held on the 2nd floor of the Ocean Hall in NTOU. The Thrivarna Festival is the first in Taiwan to showcase the different forms of dance and music of Indian culture. India is one of the biggest countries and is rich and diverse in cultures and traditions. Each province in India has its own local culture, food, and clothing, with around 100 local languages. For this year's festival, the center attraction of the Indian Cultural Festival Thrivarna is on various performances from the different parts or provinces of India.

A total of 181 individuals (majority are Indian nationals) from different parts of Taiwan participated in the event. The event was also participated by guests from other countries, international students from NTOU, and local Taiwanese individuals. University officials from NTOU, headed by OIA Dean I-Shiung Chen and Prof. Hsiao-Chun Tseng, the Director of the Division of International Student Affairs, were also present. The Indian Taipei Association was duly represented by its deputy general director, Mr. Prasant Tripati.  

The event started with the lighting of a candle ceremony by Prof. I-Shiung Chen as NTOU representative and Deputy General Director, Mr. Prasant Tripati as the representative of the Indian Embassy in Taiwan. This ceremony calls and declares happiness and for everyone to enjoy. In the earlier part, India as a country was also introduced by Binesh Unnikrishna in terms of its geography, achievements, symbolisms, language, and culture. Other provinces of India that were introduced are Kerala (Susan Zacharia), Kashmir (Shabir Hussain Malick), and West Bengal (Subhayan Mukherjee).

Culture performances were from Urban Folkore, Karnam Yuvajal, Ammu Sankar, Alizeh and Monica, Shakti Dance Group, Indira Kar, Krishn Patel, Gowri Krishna, and Anitha Mary D from NTOU; Anisha Anand, Ammu Sankar, Arya Ravindran, Susan Zacahria, Karthika B Vijayan, Kavya Jayakumar Nair, Aratrika Ray, Krishn Patel and Agnishika. Special performances were also rendered by Akash Dubey Samir, Princi, and Gulshan Iskcon Taipei.

The guests and participants voted for the Best Performance Act, and the winner was Rabindra Nrittya for the Rapti Ghost Dance presentation. The winner received a trophy, a medal, and a cash prize from the organizers.

Other nationalities were also invited to perform. Students from NTOU, the See Sea Ally NTOU Band, also gave a high-energy level performance. The western band, The Getaway Pricks performed the last with their classic song music compositions. 

           Before the event ended, the OIA Dean I-Shiung Chen gave a special message and appreciated the organizers to make the event successful. He observed that performances were composed of varied cultural presentations, and everyone enjoyed the performances. Prof. Chen is thankful for the overseas students from India and guests from other universities. He also looks forward to next year’s event hoping it will not just be from India, but also other countries. Prof. Hsiao-Chun Tseng also gave her closing remarks as she thanked everyone for coming to NTOU and being part of the event. She was grateful that despite the travel restrictions, the Indian community made a huge effort to bring and share their culture. She also hoped that everyone enjoyed the performances and wished everyone a good night.

The food of India was also part of the event. Indian snacks composed of Dal Vada, Savola Vadam, Chole Masala, Namkeen, and Coconut Laddo, prepared by the NTOU students themselves, were served upon registration. Dinner from the Taj Indian Restaurant (vegetarian and non-vegetarian was made available) is composed of Chicken Biriyani, Chicken Tikka, Nan, Raita, and Gulab Jamun was also distributed at the end of the event.

Other sponsors of the event are the Indian Taipei Association, Taj Indian Restaurant, Thali Indian Restaurant, Priya Lee Translation, Consulting Service, XREX, and Taiwan Bengali Association. 

Mr. Sandipan Mariners Mondal, the president of the  organization Indians in NTOU, is the head organizer, also gave the opening remarks. Other members of the organizing team are Saumyadip Sarkar, Gowri Krishna, Anitha Mary D, Binesh Unnikrishna, Anisha Anand, Aratrika Ray, Papiya Bhattacharya, Jiji Kannan, Priyanka Muthu, Ashwin Raj, and Gokul Nath. Ms. Joyce Wu, a staff from OIA, also helped facilitate the event.

Congratulations to our NTOU Indian Students for their hard work and a successful Thrivarna Festival!