By Kelly Yu
Stony Brook is famous for many things: churning out doctors by the hundreds, being one of the leading research schools in the country, and an overwhelming Asian student population on the east coast. With such a rich cultural representation on campus comes interesting and exciting events. Cultural events pop up throughout the month of April; however, one stands out above the rest.
On April 4, the South Asian Student Alliance at Stony Brook put on its annual cultural show, Sholay, which means “fire” in Hindi. The show was started five to six years ago by the then SASA executive board to display a cultural show for everyone to enjoy. Since then, this fairly new cultural show has evolved into something more than just a showcase for South Asian culture.
In the past few years, Sholay has become a competition for singers, dancers and musicians. A panel of judges, as well as the audience, decides the winners. The winners in each category perform a one-minute finale at the end of the categorical performances. The first place winners receive a cash prize of $100, as well as a large trophy. Second place winners receive a smaller trophy, but no money. The president of SASA, sophomore Melissa Shah, believes it is the competition aspect of the club’s show that sets it apart from other cultural shows. She also has no worries about future Sholay events to come. “We like to keep it at the SAC to keep it small….We sold out [of tickets] today in less than 24 hours.”
Like other cultural shows on campus, Sholay is not exclusive to South Asians. From the outside, it seems as if these cultural nights are intended for to specific ethnicities. It’s apparent that not only is Stony Brook recognized for its diverse cultures, but there is tolerance of all these cultures as well. There were many non-South Asians attending as well as performing at Sholay to support friends and take part in the vibrant culture. On the line to get into the event, Indians, Caucasians, and other Asians waited excitedly. All the hard work and time put into this production is apparent in its success and the amazing energy that came from each performer. Congratulations to all the winners at this year’s Sholay competition.