MSUCC Matches/Events:

ISA and MSUCC partner-up for the "India Pavilion" experience

Organized by MSU Cricket Club

Date: April 02, 2005
Venue:Drill Field, MSU Campus

By Vikram Venkatesh, Lokesh Shivakumaraiah, Arun Ramakrishnan

Come the month of April and there is talk of the spring season and blossoming flowers. This adds a lot of color to the scenery. The International Fiesta that has been held on the drill field during the month of April every year for about 17 years now adds color of its own kind. This is a great showcase of all the International culture that resides in Starkville and is associated with Mississippi State. The International Students Office, along with the World Neighbors Association do a good job of making sure all countries and their dresses, food and traditions are displayed for everyone to see. It is probably the most colorful event on the Drill Field at MSU.

The Indians at Mississippi State University are one of the most active groups of the international community. They organize various events to make their experience at MSU better, at the same time educate Americans of their customs and traditions. The India Student Association (ISA) takes care of organizing many cultural events at Mississippi State providing a window for cultural exchange between Indian students and the American people. Events such as hosting cultural functions, arranging for Indian buffet, Indian Movies and participating in community services are taken up by ISA year after year. They organized for the very first time ever Indo-American musical fusion, and also contributed to the community by participating in social service at Scribners Personal Care Center and Aiken Village Pre-School. The MSU Cricket Club (MSUCC) was started in October 2002 to harness the passion for cricket and provide a venue for improving the cricketing talents of students and staff at MSU and residents in the Golden Triangle area. MSUCC brings the game of cricket to the land of Americas, the melting pot of different cultures with a view to further strengthen the bonding between the American and International students at MSU.

The ISA and MSUCC have been joining forces for the last couple of years to bring a complete Indian experience to the fiesta. They set up a joint stall "India Pavilion" to showcase the various facets of Indian culture, be it through the display of India handicrafts (for sale and display), Indian costumes,Indian dances, Indian food and of course a game of cricket to top it all off.

This year marks a continuation of this showcase. There are a lot of things planned for this year, continuing on the good old favorites like tasty Indian food, as well as some very new ideas like display of Indian culture on a projector screen that will show visitors various aspects of India, from the Himalayas in the North to the Indian Ocean in the south. There will be mouth watering Indian foods at the stall. For the first time there will be Indian style pancakes [dosa] that would be cooked at the stall to serve fresh for the people visiting the stall. People would also get a chance to savor Indian barbeque [tandoori] chicken before they get to taste Indian sweets for deserts. In addition to all the delectable Indian cuisine, people visiting our stall would get an opportunity to sip authentic Indian chai [tea] while they take a stroll through the aisles of our stall with their family and friends for an exclusive Indian experience. There will also be a "Mehendhi" stall in which visitors can get traditional Indian wedding tattoos (temporary) made. This has always been a hit and it is expected to generate equal if not more interest. There will also be some on-stage activities by Indian students like dance and music from India. Come join us, and dance to the tune of Indian music. Before you walk out of the stall do not forget to get your name written in six to eight different Indian languages - Sanskrit, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Gujarati, Bengali to name a few.

Any Indian experience is not complete without the introduction to the game of cricket. The countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh make up about a half of the International population at MSU. Each country participates actively at the Fiesta. Although each country has its own traditions and customs, the one thing that binds them together is a common love for the game of Cricket.

What better game to showcase at the Fiesta than cricket? Starting 2004, the MSUCC proposed having a cricket match as a finale to the International Fiesta. Seeing the potential to showcase such a wonderful game to the visitors of the Fiesta, the World Neighbors Association readily agreed to sponsor the trophies for the event and is continuing to do it this time as well. In the April of 2004, the Crimson Tide of University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa was invited to come and play in the one-off match. After a strong battle wherein all possible aspects of the game could be seen, the Bulldawgs beat the Tide comprehensively. The event also witnessed a live ball-by-ball commentary at the venue by cricketing experts of the MSUCC. This helped visitors understand what was happening in the game and follow the different aspects of the sport.

This time the Rebels of Ole Miss have been invited to take part in the game and it will be one great match. This will be the first time that the Rebels will visit Starkville to play Cricket and they will surely want to start this series on a positive note. The Bulldawgs will do all they can to beat their in-state rivals and continue their domination in the area. This match has all the makings of a great encounter.

The Fiesta starts at 9:30am with a flag-march wherein all the participating countries will march with their respective flags. This will be immediately followed by the opening of all the stalls which will go on till around 2:00pm. The Cricket match is scheduled to start at around 2:30pm. Come and enjoy all the fun activities planned for you and your family. It will surely be an event you cannot forget, with all the foods and paintings and all. Make sure you are ready with the war-paint to cheer for your Bulldawgs as they try to achieve state supremacy over the Rebels.

All in all "India Pavilion" jointly presented by India Student Association and MSU Cricket Club would be the place for a perfect Indian safari for your family and friends. It brings the Indian experience to Starkville, the home of Bulldawgs.

Tip: Surprise your Indian friends in traditional colorful Indian dresses at the stall by greeting them with "Namaste", pronounced as "Na-ma-stay". This is the most popular Hindu greeting performed by pressing two hands together and holding them near the heart with the head gently bowed as one says, "Namaste". This posture is shown in the picture.

"Namaste" (na-ma-stay) is a Sanskrit greeting meaning, "I honor the divine in you." This is the highest form of salutation; it confers a humble respect and a gentle admiration.

To know more about Indian culture or if you have any questions that needs explanation please feel free to talk to any of our volunteers in the stall who will be more than willing to share with you their knowledge about the Indian culture and tradition.

A young cricket aspirant enjoys playing cricket with MSU Cricket Club members as part of "India Pavilion" in Fiesta-04. Hmm! looks like a future cricket prospect for USA.

India Student Association members who co-organised "India Pavilion" perform dhandiya in their colorful Indian costumes adding color to Fiesta-04.