White house gives a musical welcome to PM Modi


Our Bureau


From the welcome ceremony ahead of his arrival at the White House Thursday to kickstarting his official state visit to the US as a representative of the Republic of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s welcome events were peppered with music. ‘
Two musical performances by people with a cultural connection to India were arranged in honor of the PM’s visit.

South Asian a cappella group ‘Penn Masala’ performed a rendition of the Bollywood song ‘Jashn-E-Bahaara’ from the film ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ at the White House ahead of PM Modi’s arrival. The performance also included a rendition of ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’. Penn Masala is an American a cappella group. It is the world’s first and premier South Asian a cappella group. Formed in 1996 by students at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Masala’s music has been influenced by the Eastern and Western cultures that represent the group’s membership.

Vibha Janakiraman, a youth violinist and 2023 US Presidential Scholar in the Arts, welcomed PM Modi and other guests arriving at the White House for the state dinner hosted by US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.

The instrumental piece on the violin “honored her cultural connection to Western classical and South Indian classical music,” said the US First Lady in a tweet.

During his speech at the state dinner held at the White House, PM Modi said, “Indian Americans have come a long way in the US and have always found a respectful place in America’s melting pot. Indian Americans have played a significant role in further strengthening the inclusive society and economy of the US.”

He also thanked US President Joe Biden for hosting a wonderful dinner and making the visit successful. “Two great nations, two great friends, and two great powers. Cheers,” Biden told Modi in a toast at the state dinner.

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