Telugu people from across the vast expanse of the United States of America converged at the Dallas Convention Centre here kicking off the three-day grand cultural, literary and business convention, the bi-annual affair of the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) here on Saturday.
It looked like a mini Andhra Pradesh, what with people cutting across regional and religious borders to participate in the 19 TANA convention. Union Minister of State for Tourism, K. Chiranjeevi, was the chief guest at the inaugural that was graced by several politicians of all political parties, film personalities and literary giants. He complimented TANA for its efforts to preserve Telugu culture and language in this distant land increasingly being adopted by Telugus from Andhra Pradesh.
He felt the conference was uniting Telugu people who had carved a niche for themselves across several spheres in the USA, particularly in the IT sector.
The conference is not just a cultural extravaganza as many perceive it as a platform for children to understand their culture, youngsters to explore business opportunities and some also consider it a place where the achievements of Telugus are recognised and rewarded, said Mohan Nannappaneni, who will take over as the president of TANA for the next two years.
He said TANA’s role had changed over the years and it was actively participating in the State’s development as well, he said.
TANA president, Prasad Totakura, in his welcome address, promised to take all of them on a trip down memory lane and simulate an experience of visiting their motherland.
Later, speaking at a plenary session, Mr. Mohan said that TANA as an organisation would love to host the World Telugu Conference.
Cultural programmes by U.S. born Telugu children impressed the massive gathering while sumptuous Telugu delicacies were served to the participants. Later in the evening, film and television stars from Andhra Pradesh enthralled the gathering with their performances.