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Report: B G Mohandas
Pics: Sujay Bendore

UAE, Apr 29: The word 'Bunta' in Tulu language implies a powerful man or a soldier. The community of Bunts (anglicized from Buntas) also referred to as Nadavas, forms an important and integral part of the socio-economic and cultural fabric of coastal Karnataka which they share with other prominent ethnic groups like the Billavas, Mogaveeras, Brahmins, Konkanis, Catholics and Jains.

As a community, Bunts are next in number only to the Billavas of Tulunadu. The same is reflected in the Gulf. The Bunts of UAE are the first to form a Forum to share views and to come together to contribute to the welfare of the community. Hence 32nd UAE Bunts' get-together is very significant as no other community organization in the Emirates can boast of such seniority.

To contribute to the society for thirtyone long years without any hitches is very inspiring and encouraging indeed as this proves that if there is sincere dedication and leadership, a community forum will be enthusiastically patronized by the people to which it belongs.

As if to prove this,  more than a thousand Bunts gathered to socialize on Friday, April 28 and it was a treat to watch them interacting with fellow-members displaying companionship and camaraderie in abundance.

Prayer Shloka recital by Laxmi Mohan and Kavya Prabhakar provided an inspirational beginning to this celebration.

Surrounded by traditional ambience and colourful audience, India ambassador C M Bhandary and patron Dr B R Shetty inaugurated the proceedings.

Ashok Shetty welcomed and Sudhir Shetty introduced the chief guest.

Grand patron, Rajyotsava Awardee and recipient of Order of Merit from the government of Abu Dhabi Dr B R Shetty was honoured with all pomp by the elders of the community who have come from their native places on visit.

The integration and solidarity came to fore when a cheque of 12 Lac was presented to the mother of ailing Reshmi for her medical treatment. In this context, it is relevant to place on record everyone's appreciation for the relentless effort of coordinator Sarvotham Shetty to raise this fund which was presented by the ambassador in the presence of Dr B R Shetty.

A welcome Dance by Nidhi Kumar Shetty and  a classical prayer dance presented by Manjula Ganesh Rai set the pace for a day-long event, laced with a sensible mixture of dance, drama and music.

It has been a practice to form a committee to organize the yearly get-together and as a tribute to their efforts
this group was introduced to the audience by Sarvotham Shetty in his impeccable style.

Thereafter, total entertainment took over the proceedings provided by the cheerful and talented members and children.

Rising Stars by Seema Vasu Shetty; Nach Baliye Dance by Sujata Shivananda Shetty and Girish, folk dance by Usha Jayant Shetty; Vande Mataram by Sujata Ramesh Shetty and Pawan, Kannada dance (Western-style) by Geet a Vijay Shetty; Bura Bura dance by Suprema I B Shetty and Kiran, Rock Stars by Pramila Vivekananda Shetty; Cine dance by Suman Ravishankar Alva and Kiran and Tribal Dance by Dr Deepika Surendra Shetty and Sudhir Shetty entertained the crowd with their vibrant and colourful performances.

In the midst, Suprema IB Shetty and Sapna Gopal Shetty organized many spot prizes.

A well-known stage artiste Vishwanath Shetty has always been a sensitive performer and talented director. He and his wife
Usha presented 'Aseda Angalapu', a dance drama which took us to a sumptuous lunch. Monish Ganesh Rai's Tabla provided a relaxing mood during this interval.

The post-lunch session was marked by 'Birduda Bante Devupoonje ' a Tulu skit staged by Mani M Rai.

This entertaining skit was followed by a magic show by Prashant Rai and to keep the audience focused there was a thrilling Tombola game.

'Bagyada Balegara' by Nityananda Shetty stole the show with a scintillating performance which was appreciated by one and all.

A Tulu folk dance by Sapna Gopal Shetty, Kiran and Girish and Dilbara presented by Shobha Shekar Shetty added glitter to the afternoon show.

Lastly, to cap it all, Vishwanath Shetty paid tribute to 'Kannada Nadina Mannina Maga' – Dr Rajkumar

At the end, to put an icing on the cake was the versatile, popular Gulf Kannadiga, Rajyotsava Prashasti awardee
Sarvotham Shetty who not only formed the next committee by interacting with the audience and also proposed a vote of thanks.

The organizers and participants deserve equal credit for creating a classy programme.


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