ACHA Holds Successful Family Fun Fair in Portland, Oregon
On Sunday, May 15, 2005, the Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA) held their first ever "Family Fun Fair" to bring together families from the diverse countries and backgrounds of South Asia in the spirit of celebrating their shared culture and promoting peace in that region.
Over 150 people attended the event. Families were entertained with several dance performances, musical pieces and comedy skits. There were also several game booths, clothing boutiques, henna art and beading activities open for families to enjoy.
Susmita Awasthi, a 15-year old resident of Portland opened the event with a speech. She said, "We are here to reunite our paths and recognize our similarities. ACHA is a group that encourages individuals of all religions and cultures to live in peace and harmony."
"Peace is the silence of all wars," according to Shivani Joshi, a 14-year old resident of Portland. She was reading her essay on 'peace' that she entered in the ACHA essay contest.
Dr. Pritam Rohila the Executive Director and Founder of ACHA said "We wanted to provide an opportunity for the local Bangladeshi, Indian, Nepali, Pakistani and Sri Lankan kids, youth and adults to come together for a fun-filled afternoon of games, quizzes, live entertainment, and South Asian foods, all spiced with a mild sprinkling of peace and communal harmony messages."
"The event is first step towards the long odyssey", remarked Dr. Geeta Pandey, the event coordinator and Director of ACHA. "During the event, there were quite a few occasions that took us down memory lane and brought us together across our different backgrounds," she added.
ACHA plans to hold the Family Fun Fair on an annual basis along with their other annual events such as India-Pakistan peace day held in the Fall and the year-round series of lectures.
ACHA is an Oregon-based organization. It was founded in 1993 to promote peace in South Asia and harmony among South Asians everywhere they live. More information about it can be found at www.asiapeace.org