World Kannada Conference
Kannadadigas in Atlanta are suddenly
feeling aimless! Yes, the 7th AKKA World Kannada Conference
concluded successfully this Labor Day garnering rave compliments
from guests for food and the arrangements by volunteers of the
hosting organization, Nrupathunga Kannada Koota.
Greeted by the traditional banana and coconut branches’ enclave
at the entrance, the decorations and volunteers extended a warm
homely welcome to over 3000 guests. The festivities kicked off
on Friday August 31 with the Lightening of the Lamp opening
ceremony including Lord Ganesha Invocation and Dance.
Dignitaries at the event included Her Excellency Madam
Ambassador Nirupama Rao Indian Ambassador to U.S.A, Smt. Sudha
Murty Infosys Foundation Chairman, Jnanpith Award Winner, Dr.
Chandrashekara Kambara, Hon. Ajit Kumar Consul General of India,
Atlanta, Hon Chairman, KDA, Dr. Mukhyamanthri Chandru, S.
Pradeep Kumar AKKA WKC 2012 Title Sponsor, Director, ULB Realty
Ventures Limited, Dr. Shivamurthy Shivacharya Mahaswamiji
Taralabalu Jagadguru Brihanmath, Sirigere, Sri.
Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji Sri Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana
Math, Swami. Nirbhayanandaji Ramakrishna Vivekanand Ashrama,
Bijapur, Dr.Shivamurthy Muruga Rajendra Swamiji Muruga Rajendra
Mutt, Chitradurga, Dr. Swami Veereshanandaji Ramakrishna
Vivekananda Ashram at Tumkur, I.M. Vittal Murthy AKKA WKC 2012
International Cultural Coordinator, Padmaraj Dandavati Executive
Editor, Prajavani, Sreenivas G. Kappanna AKKA WKC 2012
International Cultural Coordinator, T.N. Seetharam Kannada TV
Star Director/Actor, Dr. VidyaBhushana Well known Musician,
Sri.Vachananda Swamiji Kayaka Shri awardee TV9 Yoga.
On Friday, Hon Ajit Kumar addressed the Business Forum at AKKA
with advancement of Indo-US Business Relations - Indian
Consulate's Role and Key Note Address by OfficeMax CEO Ravi
Saligram. The Panel also included many distinguished guests. CME
Forum had accomplished speakers from Emory University, Southern
Center, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, UK, MBMC, ST.Louis,
Washington University, St. Louis, VCU, Virginia and GRD Health.
Cultural activities began later in the day with introduction of
visiting artists from India, National Anthems of India and USA
followed by a kick off Dance item by Natya and Stem Dance
Company led by Ms. Madhu Nataraj. The Lighting of the lamp
ceremony was followed by Karntaka Vaibhava, Dance drama on
history and culture of Karnataka. The highlight of the evening
included melodious rendition of Kannada movie songs by ace
singers Archana Udupa, Manasi Prasad and Nagara Srinivasa Udupa.
Guests woke up a colorful parade “Meravanige” with Folk Dance
theme presented by all participating Kannada Kootas on Saturday
Sep 1 . H.E. Nirupama Rao, Smt. Sudha Murty, Dr. Chandrashekara
Kambara, Dr. Mukhyamanthri Chandru and S. Pradeep Kumar
Inaugurated the ceremony.
“I’m Karnataka’s daughter-in-law” declared H.E. Nirupama Rao in
her inaugural address adding that her growing up years in
Karnataka had widely influenced her. “There is a special
relation between India and the US.” She said adding that the
NRIs residing in the US play a major role in maintaining those
relations. We are joining hands in fields of Science,
Technology, Fuel, Healthcare,
Agriculture and much more and all
of this is not possible without your involvement, she added. Smt.
Sudha Murty shared her own experiences about changing public
views about Indians in America and pointed out that Indians
residing here were vastly responsible for it. Sudha Murty
requested the crowd to continue to help the helpless. She also
addressed the Women’s Forum talking about
Modern Woman –Reaching your full potential. Saturday Night Prime
rocked the hall with two different genres of music, devotional
by Sri. Vidyabhushana and Contemporary by Raghu Dixit, both
transporting music lovers to another world.
Various other forums kicked off including Literary, Chairty,
Singles Mingle, Spirituality, Sports, Women’s and Youth. Singing
competition for aspiring singers– AKKA IDOL 2012 – Haadu Baa
Kogile had about 35 contestants participating from across the US
and three winners Saanika Mahashetty (Junior), Pranitha
Kaaginele( Teen) and Seema Murthy Kasturi (Adult) were
Youth Forum had various activities and winners were announced.
Dance AKKA Dance, a dance competition with 28 contestants
declared their winners. In the Classical 7 -11, Ishika Girish
won 1st place, Revati Vijayan , 2nd place, and Medha Rao (3rd
place). Classical 12 -16 - Niveditha Rao (1st place), Anusha
Gopali (2nd place), SriVidhya Vijayan (3rd place). Classical 17
-21 - Ranjini Murthy (1st place), Kesha Acharya (2nd place),
Joshika Money (2nd place). Non Classical 7 -11 Rishi Gowda (1st
place), Ishika Girish (2nd place), Esha Sringeri (3rd place),
Group Performance - non classical Namoora Diva's - Ist
Place(Esha Sringari, Pragna Rao, Naksha Kashyap, Disha Baglodi,
Kirti Bharadwaj, Jyotsna Rao, Ananya Kumar, Neha Rao, Spoorthy
Bharadwaj, Gal Gal - 2nd place (Spoorthy Bharadwaj, Akanksha
Sharma, Arjun Murlidar & Vibha. Other competitions included
Debate with Winner Abhinav Patil, Wii Tournament with winner
Nithin Naren, Scavenger Hunt with winner Shalini Setty, Rani
Schwartz, Anil Schwartz, AKKA Apprentice with winner Anisha
Anand (1st Place), Ashwin Haritsa (2nd Place).
Various Sports Champions were announced. : Big dhandigas
DC/Maryland were winners of Gandaberunda Cricket Championship
and Detriot auto XI, Runners-up. Best Bowler was Pramod Pradhan
of Big Dhandigas, Best Batsman: Santhosh Swaminathan of Big
Dhandigas, Best All rounder: Nataraj Laxman of Detroit Auto XI.
Gandaberunda Chess Champions in Adults category included Vinay
AP – Winner and Kalpana Ramaswamy - Runner-up,
Youth-1 , below 12 years - Nina Bhat – Winner and Vishruth
Madhusudhan - Runner-up, Youth 2 –b/w 12 – 18 yrs - Nagaraj
Bhagwat – Winner and Sahrudh Dharanendra - Runner-up.
Gandaberunda Carrom Champions in
Youth Finals: Champion - Charit Arkacharya, Runner Up - Dhruv
Urs, Adult Singles: Champion - Dr. Ramesh Kenchappa, Runner Up -
Omkar Naik, Womens Singles: Champion - Vani Parashette, Runner
UP - Anuradha Sastri, Adult Doubles: Champions - Dr. Ramesh
Kenchappa & Sunil Ramegowda, Runners Up - Sundaresh Srinivasa &
Manjunath Shankar, Mixed Doubles: Champions - Kalyan and Vani
Parashette, Runners Up - Dr. Ramesh Kenchappa & Anuradha Sastri.
Fashion Show Shringaara showcased fusion of east and the west
with colorful, classy clothing backed by slick choreography,
luxurious backdrops and music featuring supermodel Sonia Dara as
one of the showstoppers.
Kannada Literary enthusiasts had a wonderful opportunity to
mingle with legends in the field with various activities
including an evening with Dr. Kambara, Poetry recitation and
competition With famous poet DundiRaj, Debate competition and
quiz competition and many more programs with Prajavanni
Executive Editor Padmraj Dandavate by and for kids including
talks on Media, TV and the theatrical world with cultural icon
Cultural programs galore awaited the audience. Veena Recital by
Suma Sudhindra, Melodious Janapada Sangeetha Yuvaraj ,Chintan
Vikas and Poojya Mohan, Yakshagana skit , Yaksha Manjusha by
Vidya Kolyur and her team, Kuchupudi Dance Vyjyanthi Kashi
Vyjyanthi Kashi, Suguma Sangeetha Kikkeri KrishnaMurthy,
Classical Carnatic music by Manasi Prasad, Songs from various
plays Poojya Mohan, Seema Raikar, Chintan Vikas, Sharath
Lohitasawa, Mrutunjaya Doddawada, Srinivasa Udupa,
Bharathanatyam by Dr.Suparna Venkatesh, Sugama Sangeetha Y.K.
MudduKrishna, Dance Sankalana dance Madhu Nataraj Natya and Stem
Dance Kampani Karnataka, Dance Drama Mruchikatika by Guru
Prasanna Kasturi and Soorya Dance Performing Art members,
Bharathanatyam dance Yamuna Sriniddhi. Classical Music -
Accompanying Artists included Vidwan B.K. Chandramouli -
Mrudanga Vidwan B.K. Anantha ram – Flute Vidwan Ramesh
Ramalingappa - Mrudanga Ganesh Kumar Neelakanta – Violin Vidwan
Jayaprakash Kannur - Flute Sri.Ramanth – Mrudanga Vidwan
S.Srishylan - Ghata Smt.K.Srilakshmi- Taala & Shruti.
Various Vendor Booths displaying clothes, accessories, jewelry,
real estate, Karnataka tourism, and various other merchandise
were available for the guests to shop around.
“Thank you is inadequate to express our gratitude but we hope
you accept it. Beginning from receiving our guests at the
airport till we said good bye last night to our guests, you all
poured your hearts. You all did it with a sense of pride and
definitely not just a duty. No doubt the triumphant success will
be etched in the minds of all of us for years to come.” Dr.
Ramaswamy, the Convener of the convention said in thanking
volunteers for their time and effort. “We thank all special
guests, artists, journalists who made it for the event and made
the International culture programming very rich in the event. We
specially thank Sree. Kappana and I.M. Vittalaamurthy for
setting up a very good cultural line up which ensured we did not
miss the movie stars much. Certainly they could have closed our
event in style.” Srivijaya Srinivasa, Co –convener quoted.
Elaborate menus, exclusive forums catering to various interests
certainly compensated for some program scheduling shortcomings.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that a successful
milestone has been set in the history of Atlanta’s Nrupathunga
AKKA (Association of Kannada Kootas of America) is non-profit,
Educational, Linguistic and Cultural Organization incorportated
under Non Profit Corporation act of the State of Florida to
integrate, coordinate, network and unite the activities of all
Kannadigas and Kannada Kootas for promotion and preservation of
Kannada language and culture in North America. The 1st AKKA
World Millennium Kannada Conference was held in Houston, Texas
hosted by Kannada Vrinda of Houston in the year 2000 with 2000
attendees. The 2nd AKKA World Kannada Conference held in
Detroit, Michigan in 2002 hosted by Pampa Kannada Koota scaled
AKKA to greater heights, with more than 4000 Kannadigas
attending the conference. The successive WKCs held in Orlando,
Florida, hosted by Srigandha Kannada Kootain 2004, Baltimore,
Maryland in 2006 hosted by Kaveri Kannada Association,
Vidyaranya Kannada Koota of Chicago, in 2008, and Brindavana
Kannada Koota of New Jersey in 2010 have always gathered
thousands of attendees, gaining and propagating rapid momentum
and keen interest, each consecutive conference.
Nrupathunga Kannada Koota of Atlanta hosted the 7th World
Kannada Conference. NKK, the non-profit organization was
established in 1973 with the intention of providing a common
meeting ground to share the joy of festivals and occasions that
binds people from Karnataka. NKK has endeavored to participate
in community and charitable work. NKK donations have helped
families in tragedy, educational institutions and victims of