Experience India broke attendance records Saturday night despite having problems seating all the audience members in the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium.
Yatin Agarwal, president of the Students for Asian-Indian Cultural Awareness organization (SAICA) said they were expecting a good turnout, but were surprised by the number of people that actually showed up.
Students and one faculty member performed songs, dances and a skit, all which led the audience on a journey to experience the Indian culture.Audience members also ate Indian cuisine prepared by Sodexo.
“Usually SAICA sells the tickets at the door because we don’t have that many advance tickets,” Agarwal said.
The organization had trouble sitting people because the bleachers broke, Agarwal said.
“The chairs that we could get were only so many, we were sold out, and we didn’t know how many people were coming,” Agarwal said. “It was just all a last minute crisis,” he said.
Agarwal said they considered seating everyone on the floor as one of the solutions.
“That is a true Indian experience, but it was not practical because we had to find someone to rent the mats from,” he said.
Despite the changes with seating arrangements, SAICA members managed to accommodate each attendee.
Agarwal credited the large turnout to the marketing of the program.
Leslie Chanthaphasouk, coordinator of inclusiveness and intercultural services, said they decided to include Experience India into CommUNITY Week, which is a week-long celebration of diversity.
Kathy Cavins-Tull, vice chancellor for student affairs, who has attended Experience India the past two years said she said was excited to attend a third time.
“I love this program,” she said.
This year SAICA also celebrated its 20th anniversary of being an organization. At the end of the program SAICA gave tribute some of its former presidents who were present.
Nipuna Perera, TCU alumnus and former president of SAICA, said he enjoyed the performances.
“Experience India has always been an event that involves people from all types of cultures and that trend hasn’t changed,” he said.
At the end of the program SAICA dedicated the program to people in Ukraine, Venezuela, and others who feel they have experienced social injustice.
“To those of you who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love there is no race, no color, no class system that makes us better than anyone else,” Agarwal said. “We are all deserving of love.”