The Shrewsbury-based India Society of Worcester is a secular, nonprofit organization that focuses on fostering Indian culture through language classes, seminars, and senior and youth groups for the area’s Indian population.
This year the society is celebrating its 50th anniversary with several events leading up to India’s Independance Day celebration, held annually on Aug. 15. Next
On April 27 the Indian Youth Group, part of the India Society of Worcester, hosted the Sanskar 2013 dance performance at the Marlborough Middle School where more than 350 boys and girls, ages 5 to 18, performed choreographed dances in variety of styles.
Pictured is the "Ganpati Bappa Morya" dance group performing in this “Showcase India” event. Next
The society also has a cultural school that enrolls between 140 and 170 youths and teaches courses on five languages: Hindi, Tamil, Gujarathi, Telugei, and Marathi. The India Society of Worcester is run by volunteers.
Pictured are the"Ganpati Bappa Morya" dance group performing at the Marlborough Middle School. Next
Shyam Sharma, who came to the US by sea 53 years ago, helped found the India Society of Worcester. "At that time, the number of Indians [here was] very small," he says.
Today, the society has about 500 dues-paying members, according to Ashish Cowlagi, chairman of the semicentennial committe, but about 2,100 families subscribe to its e-mail newsletter, and attendance at major events ranges between 3,000 to more than 5,000. Next
According to 2010 US Census data, Shrewsbury is home to more than 3,100 Indians, or 8.8 percent of the population.
The Indian population increased across Massachusetts from 43,801 in 2000 to 77,177 in 2010, a jump of 76.2 percent, according to the Institute for Asian American Studies at UMass Boston, based on US Census figures.
Pictured are members of the "Azadi" dance group practicing backstage. Next
President of the India Society of Worcester Rajiv Dayal says that a strong connection to Indian culture is important to both adults and children. “Adults also need interaction with other adults to keep the culture alive. If the adults don’t practice Indian culture, the kids won’t have it either. It just falls away,” he said.
Poonam Hingorany (left) is pictured above with her daughters Sneha Hingorany (right) and Pooja Hingorany (center). Next
Pictured is the "Rang" dance group performing.
For its 50th anniversary celebration, the society has partnered with Shrewsbury Media Connection, which provides public access programming in town, to produce a documentary tentatively titled “Fifty Glorious Years of ISW.” Back to the beginning
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