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Ringing in the Summer at Mississippi North Regional Park

SEWA community members sitting and eating at tables in an open-air shelter house with SEWA banners on the walls.

SEWA-AIFW recently hosted our first all-program summer picnic at Mississippi North Regional Park. After such a long time away, it felt great to shake off the dust and gather once again. Despite inclement weather, we had a wonderful time reconnecting with the lovely faces in our community!

On June 20th, our various groups and programs gathered together for the first time in a long time. There have been individual program meetings, such as our Senior Socials and SAPNA group, but all have been separate. Now, after so much uncertainty and stress, we are delighted to have our community vaccinated and able to meet again.

We need to extend a huge thank you to all who have done their part in keeping our community safe this year. Thank you to the volunteers who helped ensure our vaccine clinics were a success these past few months. By extension, thank you to all who came to receive their vaccinations! This event was only possible because of the foundation of safety that has been laid this year by our community members and volunteers.

Set the Stage!

The day began, of course, with some wonderful Indian and South Asian food. Samosas, curry, naan, biryani, and warm chai are exactly what is needed when the clouds roll in and the rain starts. As we all settled in, a few of the day’s special guests were making their own preparations.

We had the privilege of hearing Shaliny Jadhav and Saanvi Byrapuneni from Swaravedika, a local, youth-led nonprofit a capella group. Click here to visit their website. They performed several times over the course of the day. In between their performances, we also got to hear from a trio of musicians.

Swaravedika receiving an award from SEWA director Raj Chaudhary.
Swaravedika, including Shaliny and Saanvi (right)

The three musicians who performed for us were Padmanabhan Govindan, Sankaran Bhattathiripad, and Sreyas Bhattathiripad. Padmanabhan is a lifelong violinist who has performed in temples all over India and now Minnesota. Sankaran has played the mridangam at community events in both India and Minnesota. Sreyas also plays the mridangam, and he is only in sixth grade! Click here to see photos of the mridangam.

Padmanabhan, Sankaran, and Sreyas performing at Mississippi North Regional Park.
From right: Padmanabhan, Sankaran, and Sreyas

We couldn’t have asked for a better group of singers and musicians to drown out the sound of the rain on the roof. It was simply wonderful sitting back with a chai and listening to the performances while the rain passed us by. The rain let up as the music ended, and the festivities moved outside once again.

Summer Fun Moving Forward

We enjoyed a gap in the weather for the day’s final few hours. With the day’s performances finished and the weather finally cooperative, we were able to get out and enjoy the day fully! There were games to be played, sun to be enjoyed, and of course, ice cream to be had. After all, what’s a summer day without an ice cream truck?

Getting ice cream from the ice cream truck at the party!
Queuing up for summer treats

We look forward to more days like these as things slowly begin to open back up. SEWA-AIFW is fully committed to maintaining COVID-safe environments while also facilitating the socialization we all need. Our next get-together is coming up in early August at Ripe Radish Farms. You may remember them from our picnic last August!

We look forward to seeing you again!

Click here for RSVP information for August’s social gathering.

View all our events here.

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