At the Motor City!
Detroit, Michigan the city well known as the headquarters of car manufacturers in US was selected as the host of KHNA’s Ninth Global Convention. Under the able leaderships of Sri Surendran Nair (President), Sri Rajesh Kutty (General Secretary), Sri Sudarsana Kurup (Treasurer), Sri Rajesh Nair (Convention Chairman), Sri Sunil Paingol (Registration Chair) and the KHNA Michigan Team, Detroit saw the highest ever registration for any KHNA convention so far. In fact the registrations were closed two months ahead of the convention as all available rooms in the hotel were booked in advance due to very high interest.
Detroit saw a wide variety of entertainment programs with special emphasis on “kshetra kalakal” (temple arts). Programs started with the hoisting of the temple flag in front of the temple built inside the hotel accompanied with Panchari Melam led by distinguished artists Pallavoor Sreedhara Marar and Kalamandalam Sivadas. Mega Thiruvathira saw nearly three hundred ladies stepping in tune decked in beautiful coordinated attire. Cultural procession followed with each region presenting a different theme consisting of tableaus, artworks, songs and music. The art form Mudiyettu presented by Keezhillam Unnikrishnan was a truly unique experience hitherto unfamiliar to most audience members. Ottan Thullal by Kalamadalam Manoj Kumar presented the story of Garudha Garvabhangam from Ramanucharitham.
The well known exponent of Kerala’s own art form Mohiniyattam and recipient of several awards, Dr. Neena Prasad performed Mohiniyattam in its entire splendor. Malabar region’s own art form Theyyam was performed by Dr. Jayaraj and team of Folkland.
Distinguished artists Sadanam Balakrishnan, Jishnu Namboothiri, Manoj Kulangatt and others performed Kathakali for two nights in its mesmerizing style.
Special Guests included Swami Bodhananda of Sambodh Society, Swami Chidananda Puri of Kolathur Adwaithashram, Dr. N Gopalakrishnan of Indian Institute of Scientific Heritage, Bhagavatha Yajnacharya Mannady Hari, C Radhakrishnan (eminent Malayalam author, physicist, researcher, film director and media person), Prof. V Madhusoodanan Nair (distinguished Malayalam poet and critic), Suresh Gopi (Film Actor and M.P.), Isha Talwar (Film Actress) and Vijay Yesudas (Playback singer and actor).
Youth events were coordinated by Acharya Vivek and Acharya Sachin of Chinmaya Mission. Chief Celebrity guest was Raja Kumari, the Indian American rapper, songwriter and recording artist who thrilled the audience with her unique style of singing.
- Detroit team was instrumental in starting new Kerala Hindu organizations in Minnesota, Indianapolis and Nashville.
- A record number of Registration Kickoffs were conducted all over USA and Canada.
- Regional Conventions were held at Chicago and South Florida. Chief Guests at the Midwest Regional Convention in Chicago were Acharya Sachin and Dr. Vikrant Singh Tomar.
- Yuva Forum National Mini Convention was held at Charlottesville with Dr. N Gopalakrishnan as Chief Guest.
- Nine seva activities were identified and implemented in connection with the Ninth Global Convention.
- Professional Forum and Women’s Forum meetings and seminars were held.
- Arshadarsana Puraskaram was established and the first award was given to Mahakavi Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri.
- First Kerala Convention of KHNA was organized in Thrissur at Kerala Sahitya Akademi.
- Published Anjali magazine print and e-editions regularly.
- Souvenirs were published for the Detroit Convention and Midwest Regional Convention.
- Midterm Special General Body was held in Chicago for Bylaw amendment.