SAMOSA’s annual charity event an evening of ‘magic’

Daisy Ayllon

Student performances, ethnic food, music and fashion drew about 1,000 people to the Jake Nevin Field House Saturday for what some say is the largest cultural event at Villanova, the annual charity event of the South Asian Multicultural Organized Student Association.

This year’s theme, “Jadoo 2009: Celebrating the Magic of South Asia,” showcased the talents of Villanova students.

“In Hindi, jadoo (pronounced: jah-dthoo) means magic,” said Co-Executive Producer Sahitya Kollu. “Our show presents enchanting performances that display hard work and talent. We’ve all spent so much time planning and organizing and practicing and rehearsing, that it is truly magical how things have come together.”

Jake Nevin was changed from a basketball court to a dream-like stage that immediately transported the audience to another place.

“I think they did a great job transforming Jake Nevin,” said junior Fressia Barbagelata. “It looked so beautiful.”

The performances were culturally varied, and the 114 students who partook in the occasion were also from all different ethnic backgrounds.

“Culture can be so rich, so diverse, so entertaining,” Felix D’Souza, co-executive producer said. “Our culture inspires others, and other cultures inspire ours, so why not let other groups partake in an event celebrating diversity?”

The musical event included student clubs such as Tango ‘Nova and the Irish Dancers.

This year the fashion show included traditional eastern and western dress.

“SAMOSA believes that a creative method is essential for people to understand the cultural aspects of South Asia,” Kollu said. “Hence the dancing and singing are more appealing to the people rather than lectures and guest speakers. Lectures and guest speakers do raise some cultural awareness, but the retention of it may not be as strong as a visual performance.”

The event was open to the public for the first time this year.

This occasion gave the public a taste of South Asia through the eyes of Villanova students, according to D’Souza.

Besides cultural awareness, this is a fundraising event for the 70 active members of SAMOSA. As part of their efforts, they sell CDs that contain all the music used during the night.

All the proceeds are utilized to sponsor Rahul Das, an 8-year-old boy from South India.

He is part of Children International, a humanitarian organization that helps impoverished children.

“Every year SAMOSA gathers its members to get him clothing, birthday cards and gifts for special occasions, as well as monetary needs,” Kollu said. “Every year we make an effort to visit him over the summer and spend time with him because we really care for him.”

The event is entirely student-run. And in addition to running and coordinating all the details of an event of such magnitude, all the members of the executive board also participated in numerous acts.

The performers were responsible for coming up with choreography or scripts for their specific acts.

This endeavor required much work and participation from members of SAMOSA.

Sanghamitra Mazumda, co-chair of SAMOSA, explained that they began preparing for the show almost a year ago.

The three-hour-long event, the biggest event in the history of the club, culminated with an act put together and performed exclusively by the class of 2010.