Bollywood in Davao: Sharing a glimpse of home

IN A night full of music, dances, and love for their own culture, Indian students showed their unique art and forms hundreds of miles away from their own country in a cultural night at Rizal Park, Davao City last March 11, 2018.

Around 2,000 Indian students from Davao Medical School Foundation (DMSF), San Pedro College, and Brokenshire College performed their dances, gave tribute to their favorite artists, and showed the various cultural attires of the different regions in India.

Some of these dances include Garbha dance, a popular dance from Gurajat, an Indian state, which is being performed not only in India but all over the world by the Gujaratis. They also performed Bollywood dances to soundtracks of famous Bollywood movies.

An a capella number was performed as tribute to Indian artist A.R Rahman, an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician and philanthropist. Rahman’s works are noted for integrating Indian classical music with electronic music.

Aside from songs, and dances, the students also performed a mime about conservation of water. They depicted powerfully how water was taken for

granted and how dangerous it is if water runs out.

Aleena Anna George, a third-year student at DMSF said that these cultural dances and performances were a way to show their gratefulness to Davao City for the opportunities that were given to them in their stay here.

“We wanted to showcase the culture of India for the people of Davao, I think they are doing a very good job. I just wanted to take the

opportunity to thank the whole Filipino men and women, and the local people for giving us the opportunity to study medicine. Without you guys, if the DMSF is not there, I do not know where I am going to study medicine so it is really nice studying here, and walking and I am sure that I would miss the city a lot once that I am done with my studies  and when I go back to India,” she said.

She said that she had made a lot of Filipino friends and she is grateful because she can really appreciate the culture here and also the open mindedness of people. 

“I was denied to have a medical seat in India and even if I chose to buy a medical seat, I would have given millions of Indian rupees and I am not rich. Why Philippines? Philippines is cheap. Philippines is affordable, people are nice, the climate is almost the same and it is an English-speaking country,” George said.

As an Indian staying in Davao City, Anna said that she is not affected by negative news saying it is not safe in Davao.

“Even though they are telling that the Indian People should be protected… and you shouldn’t go to any places outside Davao, as far as I

know, there is nothing (to be afraid of) because we are really safe, in Duterte’s place nothing can happen to us. We really do believe in Sara Duterte, so as far as I know we are very safe,” George


Anthony Devaseelam, chief financial officer of Davao Medical Education Management Services (DMEMS), said that they are happy to show and promote the Indian culture here.

“Around 6,000 medical students are studying here in Davao. In India, we have different cultures, different language, and different music so everything performed here, it is a wonderful night, to give love to Philippines in Davao City,” he said.

DMEMS is the company that attends to the needs of the Indian students in the city.

Photos by Mark Perandos, City Tourism Operations Office, and Davao Medical Education Management Services Co.


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