Report: Shodhan Prasad
Photos: Vivek Anand / Shoban

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Abu Dhabi Karnataka Sangha one of the parent group of all Kannadigas in Abu Dhabi yesterday celebrated ‘Karnataka Rajyotsava 2011’ vibrantly holding the torch of Kannada flying high above the sky in this part of the world.  The golden language of sandalwood land was the spirit of the total programme while putting all effort in keeping the folklore alive.  It was a true dedication to the motherland and Abu Dhabi Karnataka Sangha proved it this year too with this colourful and powerful presentation of folk singing and folk dance competition amongst various groups of Kannadiga sanghas in UAE.  The day long event took place in India Social & Cultural Centre Auditorium, Abu Dhabi on Friday the 4th November, 2011.



Followed was Prayer song rendered beautifully by Divya Sharma & Group continued with ‘welcome dance’ by children choreographed by Divya Sharma.

MC Manohar Tonse took over the morning cession and announced the morning cession which was mostly presentation of some of the famous folk songs started with Children Group Song called ‘Chilipili Hakkigalu’ directed by Jasinta Rasquina, Group Song & Dance Choreographed by Ritesh, ‘Huttidare Kannada Naadalli Huttabeku’ Song and dance directed/sung by Donald Pinto, ‘Naada Geethe’  directed by Divya Sharma & Team.

A beautifully composed masterpiece ‘Nrutya Roopaka’ directed and expressively presented by gifted family comprising of Nruthya Vidhooshi Dr. Shri Vidya Muralidhara, Muralidhar Kumar & Master Abhyudhaya Krishna stole the hearts of every Kannadiga present.  Dr. Shri Vidya who has won several awards for her dance presentation including Doctorate was felicitated by Abu Dhabi Karnataka Sangha during the function.

Followed by group song “Barisu Kannada Dindima”  by Chandrakanth Kini & Narasimha Kudva & Group, another group song “Jai Karnataka” directed by Ronald D’souza & Team, Children Group Song “Jogada siri belakinalli” directed by Soujanya Chandrashekar and finally the last group song “Chendhada Totavidhu” directed by Ashvin Satish.  All these group songs released the true flavour of everlasting memories, the golden phrases of some of the well known Kannada poets.

This unique programme started in the morning with MC Ananth opening up the programme with an introductory note briefing the day’s programme remembering the names of some of the very well known leaders, scholars, poets, jnanapeeta awardees, famous personalities who were the gifted citizens having brought in laurels and appreciations to Karnataka.  Narrating some golden lines of those poets, scholars, Ananth invited the guests on to the stage for lighting the lamp which was done by Chief Guest, HE MK Lokesh, Indian Ambassador to UAE, Presided by Dr. BR Shetty, Patron of UAE Kannadigas/CEO & MD of NMC Group, Guests Ramesh V. Panikar - President India Social & Cultural Centre, Abu Dhabi, M. A. Salam, General Secretary India Social & Cultural Centre, Guest of Honours, Shrinivasa  Shrirangam, CEO of Probell Enterprises, Shivananda Hebbar of Swiss Arabian Perfumes (Sapil), Sarvotham Shetty, President of Abu Dhabi Karnataka Sangha & other Committee members.

Chief Guest, Kannadiga H.E. M.K. Lokesh, Indian Ambassador in UAE was felicitated and in return he gave a nice brief speech in pure Kannada sharing some lighter moments.  Other dignitaries’ who were felicitated were Ramesh Panicker, President of India Social Centre Abu Dhabi,  Shrinivasa  Shrirangam of Probell Enterprises, Shivananda Hebbar of Sapil, Ananth & Namitha Ananth, visiting ex-committee member of Abu Dhabi Karnataka Sangha, Bennet D’Mello for being elected as President of Paradela including an important Senior Official from the Indian Embassy.  Soon all the sponsors of the event were individually called and felicitated with shawl and flower bouquet.  Abu Dhabi Karnataka Sangha also felicitated their Women’ Throw ball Team on their recent achievement.  The group were called upon on the stage and individually honoured while wishing them success for the coming year.  Sarvotham Shetty did the proceedings in his own imitable style.

“Prathiba Puraskara” an award for all those Kannadiga students who have excelled in the field of Education, Sports were identified and called upon on the stage and honoured along with their parents.  They were individually introduced and felicitated by Padmashree Dr. B.R. Shetty who is also the Chairperson of Abu Dhabi Indian School.

Sumptous Buffet Lunch was served to all with a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian spreads including Laddu & Payasa tastefully served by Food Lands Hotel.

Soon after the lunch was a political satirical skit very well presented by Jayaram Rai & Group which was purely relating to the current situation.  It was very well appreciated by the audience.

The main attraction of the day was “UAE level Folk Dance Competition.  Ananth soon took over the afternoon part especially for the Folk Dance Competition because of his high caliber in this field.  He introduced the four Dance Judges, Suprit Kumar,  Namitha Ananth, Bhavani Shankar Sharma & Dr. Shri Vidhya Muralidhar who were provided special seats to judge the group dances.  As said there were 19 entries initially for the group folk dance competition which finally resulted with 9 entries confirmed shortlisted with the rules and regulations strictly adhered.  Those 9 teams comprised of Mangala Shetty leading Kitturu Rani Chennamma Team, Abu Dhabi, Rajesh Kuttar leading Rani Abbakka Team Dubai, Rajani Shetty leading Shishunala Shareefa Team, Al Ain, Ritesh & Pavan leading Madakari Nayaka Team, Abu Dhabi, Jagannath Bellare leading Billawas Dubai & NE Team, Rohini Ananth leading Sharjah Karnataka Sangha Team, Deepakraj Kotian leading Mogaveers UAE Team, Shushma Jitendra leading Abu Dhabi Brahmana Sangha Team and Ashok Bailoor leading Billava Balaga Dubai Team.  All the teams presented their talents which was really appreciated and applauded by the whole fully over crowded auditorium clapping, whistling and cheering ‘once more & once more’ after every presentation.  This event was a real feast to the eyes and pleasant for the ears making it tough for the judges to judge which one is better.  Every entry was unique and had their own reasons to explain and explore.  Overall one can say that it was totally colorful, soulful and delightful plus full on with so much of meaning to the Karnataka folklore.  Every participant have put up full of energy while presenting their teams smilingly, expressively and above all with lot of risks of stunts involved in their items.

Finally it was time for the winner’s announcement and all the audience waited to hear this with lots of excitement. 

The following are the winners:-


1st Rajesh Kuttar - Rani Abbakka Dubai Team, Dubai

2nd Mangala Shetty - Kittooru Rani Chennamma Team, Abu Dhabi

3rd Ritesh - Madakari Nayaka Team, Abu Dhabi

Winners Folk Dance

1st Rani Abbakka , Dubai - Rajesh Kuttar with a prize money of Dhs. 2000/-

2nd Kitturu Rani Chennamma, Abu Dhabi - Mangala Shetty with a prize money of Dhs. 1500/-

3rd Shishunala Sharifa, Al Ain - Rajani Shetty/Nityananda Shetty with a prize money Dhs. 1000/-

All the winners were called upon on the stage and honoured.

Also all the participants were called and honoured with gift hampers from Sapil.  Shoban of Sameeha Studio was also called on the stage and honoured.

Dr. B.R. Shetty gave a brief speech while the full team of Abu Dhabi Karnataka Sangha committee were all introduced and thanked for their efforts in presenting such a thunderous programme.  At the same time the Media sponsors were invited on to the stage and felicitated by him followed by Raffle Draw and vote of thanks. The raffle draw winners were announced and prize distributed on the spot which included cash vouchers for gold and diamond, airline tickets etc.  The proceedings were ably conducted by Sarvotham Shetty.

The programme concluded at around 6.30 PM as scheduled.

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