The 13th annual India Nite festivities Saturday will probably feature the usual — classical Indian dance and music and applause so wild that the emcees ask the audience to settle down.
India Nite has grown over the years to include 100 Indian performers from MU and Columbia and far more audience members. Last year, MU’s Jesse Auditorium was nearly full for the performance.
“One reason the auditorium is packed is because we have alumni coming for the event from all different states,” said Parmesh Venkateswaran, president of MU’s Cultural Association of India, the organization responsible for India Nite.
“It started 13 years ago, with a small group of Indians displaying the diverse Indian culture to a relatively small yet diverse audience at the university,” Venkateswaran said. “It went from that to being included in the calendar of events of the university.”
He called the event “a portrait of the various cultures, languages and religions of India blending together to produce a colorful and festive occasion.”
“October and November are festive months back home in India, and India Nite to an extent kind of makes up for what we miss at home,” Venkateswaran said.
India Nite begins at 7 p.m. Saturday in Jesse Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.