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Laks Meyappan and NSNA President, Dr. A. Periakaruppan. The retreat chief guest, Mr Veerappan Annamalai, President of

Tessolve Services, Bangalore, addressed the gathering. He grouped the North American Nagarathars into pre and post- 1987 groups. He regarded the pre-1987 group as pioneers who explored this part of the continent in the early days without as much social contact and technology as today, this he said deserved a standing ovation. He advised on the joy of giving, humor and that assumption is a killer. He requested the new generation of Nagarathars to be more respectful, return to and invest in India.

The opening ceremony dance show was performed by New Jersey aachis, chettiars and eight young girls. It concluded with the dancers holding up a string of letters that read ‘NSNA WELCOMES YOU’.

There were more than 70+ programs performed on stage. You name it—dance, skit, karaoke, videos, presentations, talk shows, or game shows—every type of performance was there for audience of any taste!

Nagarathars aging three through sixty and beyond participated in events sending out a message that when it comes to entertainment age is not a factor. Little did we know that achis and chettiars could shake a leg or two and get groovy! The Canadian and Houston Nagarathars put up hilarious skits paying

Volume 12, issue 3

meticulous details to our culture, slang, and outfits. The skits highlighted certain issues in our community in a jovial way. The kaavadi dance performed by the Boston Nagarathars was novel. The Boston, Michigan and Washington DC Nagarathars‘ performances were entertaining enough that it prompted audience to shout ―once more!‖ The New Jersey Nagarathars presented a short film of a hilarious skit, in which aspiring actors auditioned for lead roles in a film. The to be actors‘ auditions gave a heart attack to the film‘s producer but it was a laughter riot to the audience. The finishing touch on the two day entertainment marathon was the DC Nagarathars performance. Apart from holding the record for maximum number of performers they managed to fuse dialogues into dance performances and videos with perfect precision. This mela went on for about 30 minutes.

There are a few events that gathered interest among people of all regions. One of them was ‗Vaanga Pesalam Vaanga‘. Five teams discussed, debated, counter-argued, ‗Who is the most difficult to understand in a family?‘ The show was hosted by Deepa Ram and Mrs. Umayal Muthu was the judge. Michigan and Canada regions argued for parents; the New England region said it was the wives; the Washington DC said it was the husbands;

the hosts, the Greater New York region, whole-heartedly went in for in-laws; and whereas the rest of the regions argued for the future generation—our children. Finally the judge ruled that all individuals in a family are equally difficult to understand.

Chutti’s Activities

If you have kids or know someone with kids, then you certainly have experienced or witnessed these conversations: ―Mom, can I have some water? Dad, when are we going home? Amma, I am hungry, can I have something to eat! …‖ Appa, it is boring, shall we go home?‖

The National Retreat 2011 had made these nagging conversations disappear through a babysitting session called, Chutti‘s Club. Children between ages 4 and 9 were ID- proofed, wrist-banded, and dropped off at this club. On the first day of the Club, chutties enjoyed a magic show and caught tangled in a post- dinner animated film called,


On day 2, they had their hands full with arts and crafts. Parents were free to pick their kids anytime, but many parents opted to pick up their kids only when the MC announced, ―Those kids who are left


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