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Students from over 50 nations celebrate Incredible India

Arun Subbian, Executive Editor, and Matt Ruffle, Director of Advancement, American School of Bombay, India

Founded in 1981, the American School of Bombay (ASB) has seen students, educators, and staff from more than 90 countries from every part of the world pass through its campus in Mumbai, India. The global diversity of the school’s community resonates well with the diversity found in India and in the increasingly global marketplace of the world today.


The community of the American School of Bombay paid tribute to such a remarkable diversity by celebrating India in a festive manner. The event, aptly named “Incredible India,” highlighted the country’s bequest of art and culture to the global community. Every aspect of the grand event – be it the arts, crafts, performances, or cuisine – reflected the rich heritage and ethos of the country.  Members of the community were welcomed with a Mogra gajra, a bracelet made with Jasmine flowers, at the entrance. The spread of cuisine reflected the rich variety found across the country and included delicacies and flavors of North, South, West, and East of India.

In honor of the host country, the cultural events started with India’s National Anthem that was followed by the traditional lighting of the lamp ceremony. The cultural events saw an array of performances by students displaying various folk dances of India including the Bhangra, Garba, Koli, and more.  The students enacted a virtual tour of the city of Mumbai and its famous tourist locations through their dance performance titled ‘Mumbai Meri Hai.' Iconic props of Mumbai’s local train and Gateway of India fascinated the international audience.


The expat parents grooving on stage to the tunes of Indian Bollywood beats was another highlight of the day. Other art forms and performances such as Kalaripayattu, Ramayana extracts, Bollywood Boogie, Lord Ganesha dance, and an eclectic presentation by ASB security and support staff portrayed the ethnic variety of India. The event ended on a high note as members of the community took the stage and danced to the vibrant beats of a Punjabi dhol (drumbeats).

Rajiv Kacholia, Board President at ASB, said, “India has a wonderful environment for the kids to grow. We have families from many countries living here, and it was important to bring everyone together, celebrate, and integrate the culture of India.  We want to ensure that the students, parents, staff, teachers cherish sweet memories of India when they go back.”

One of the parents and Board Members, Nikita Sheth, sharing her thoughts said, “Such an event nurtures the whole community of ASB, and it embodies the school’s spirit.”

As 2017 is the year of Courage and Compassion for the school, the event also served as a facilitating platform for six NGOs including World for all, ChildReach School, Dua Foundation, Spring ST Bakery, Advitya, and Matsya to further their causes through the sale of ethnic arts and crafts items to an international audience. In addition, the NGOs advocated the concept of caring for nature to the students, through the use of recycled materials in their traditional creations.

 “People think India is only about food and dancing.  But there are so many things to know and learn about India. Events like this inspire the expatriates to travel and know about India. My family flew in from the US in the morning, and this event was a great opportunity to introduce them to India” said Judith Rodrigues, a parent.

Fiona Reynolds, Deputy Head of School, commented, “We have people who have chosen India as home, some for a shorter period and others for longer.  This event has ensured that India is embedded in our mind. India is endlessly interesting, and every year I learn something new about this country -- be it the festival, culture, place, food, music, or even dance.”

“All of my friends in the school are from different parts of the world. This event brings us all together, the elementary school, middle, and high school, and it is fun to interact with each other and also see the little kids performing” said Tarini Sinha, a student in Grade 12 at ASB.
The global community of the school’s students, teachers, parents, and staff highlighted India’s unique concept of unity in diversity through performances, activities, songs, and more. With a pan-India perspective, Incredible India provided an exciting opportunity for students from different countries to come together as a community to learn, appreciate, and celebrate the beauty and heritage of the host country.

People’s enthusiasm and commitment are what make any community celebration a true success, and this fact was evident at the American School of Bombay; it was truly heartwarming to see hundreds of young students and parents from more than 50 nations vying with each other to portray and embrace the indomitable spirit of India.

Check out all of our events and conferences | 2018/19 conference dates: Atlanta, GA, USA (December 9-11, 2018)  •   Bangkok, Thailand (January 4-7, 2019)  •   San Francisco, CA, USA (February 7-10, 2019) |