Dhol drums and chimtas set the beat as about 140 people thrust their shoulders, pumped their knees and twisted their hands on Friday night.
They were dancing the Punjabi bhangra at NYU Nach, an event held by NYU's United Sikh Association chapter at the Kimmel Center. The event raised $1,000 for the Sikh Research Institute, an organization that aids widows of the 1984 Sikh riots.
"Everyone enjoyed themselves, and people learned about Punjabi culture at the same time," said Nimeeta Sachdev, president of the Sikh Association at NYU.
Attendees learned about the 1984 conflict, during which India's government unofficially sanctioned a four-day slaughter of more than 3,000 Sikhs after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards.
Widows of the victims now face a cultural stigma that has forced them to form colonies so that they can support themselves and their children financially. But even with the small tailoring jobs that many of these women have, they still have difficulty financing their children's education, said Sandeep Singh, vice president of the Sikh Association. [Link]
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