ISSA holds 23rd annual Gateway to India

The Baylor Indian Subcontinent Students Association held their 23rd Annual Gateway to India Saturday in Waco Hall Saturday. Photo Courtesy of Baylor University

By Thomas Moran | Staff Writer

The Baylor Indian Subcontinent Students Association (ISSA) held their 23rd Annual Gateway to India at 5:30 p.m Saturday in Waco Hall. Student groups from various universities attended to compete for a cash prize with south Asian dances and musical performances. The event also featured a fashion show held by the members of ISSA.

Houston junior Farhin Ali, ISSA’s culture show chair, spent the last year planning this year’s Gateway to India with a few other ISSA members. With a large audience and six dance teams competing, she said the event takes a significant amount of time and energy to plan.

“One of the biggest challenges is managing all of the moving pieces and putting them all together,” Ali said. “There are so many small things that go into the show, and I think nobody really knows how much work it takes until you actually plan it.”

Gateway to India has gained popularity over the years, and Ali said this has been one of the most successful event’s thus far.

“It only gets better every single year because we get to learn from the mistakes we made in the past,” Ali said. “There were so many people in the audience and it was almost a full house. That was pretty exciting, and I definitely think it was a pretty incredible show.”

The winner this year was the all-woman team “Sapna” from the University of Texas at San Antonio. This is the second year in a row that the team won the competition.

Lake Charles, La. junior Elle Simmons said the event was an amazing experience.

“This was an incredible opportunity to see something I had never experienced before,” Simmons said. “It was so well done. You could tell every group had devoted an incredible amount of time in preparing it and that resulted in an amazing display of skill. It was just so well organized.”

Though the event primarily featured the rich history and tradition of south Asian dance, ISSA also promoted their philanthropy, Development in Literacy, during the event.

According to their website, Development in Literacy is an organization dedicated to educating and empowering underprivileged children in Pakistan, particularly girls, and providing schools with high-quality teachers and principles.