Right from its inception in 2012, SAAL has held cultural events to celebrate the different Indian festivals. In addition to bringing the community together, these events also enable people to share our diverse history, culture and food with the broader Lancaster community. Through dance and drama performances by adults and children, the younger generations learn more about their heritage and the various customs and traditions.
SAAL organizes a prayer and dance event every year to celebrate the most popular Navaratri festival. Around 350 to 400 members participate in this event to perform the traditional Durga Pooja to honor Goddess Durga – the Goddess of Strength. They also dance the traditional garba and stick dances late into the night. Competitions are held and prizes distributed to the kids and adults dressed in the best traditional costumes.
Diwali is the festival of lights. Every year SAAL organizes a dinner and theater event to celebrate this most important festival. 500 members gather together for an evening of traditional dance and drama performances by children and adults.
Holi is the festival of colors. SAAL celebrates this festival by organizing a color run at the local community park where more than 300 members perform the prayers and then play with colored powders and water. Kids love this festival and participate in a color run around the park.
SAAL organizes an annual picnic in summer where more than 200 members get an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other. New members and old bond over games and food and build meaningful and lasting relationships.
The South Asian Community is very passionate about sports and SAAL holds sports camps for children aged 6 to 18. In the summers, volunteers teach around 30 to 50 children how to play cricket. Bowling camps are held in the winters for around 75 participants. The children learn team-spirit, co-ordination, leadership, communication and management skills in a fun enriching environment.
SAAL periodically organizes bus trips to different places. These are specially popular amongst the senior citizens and families with small children in the community.
SAAL firmly believes in giving back to the community of Lancaster that has allowed it’s members to thrive and achieve their full potential. Through our partnerships with different organizations and participation in community events, we endeavor to create a strong and cohesive community.
Since our founding in 2012 SAAL has:
Conducted food drives every year to support charitable organizations such as Water Street Mission.
Raised funds for disaster relief such as Nepal Earthquake in 2015.
Raised funds to help children in need through Schreiber Pediatric Center.
Provided leadership for an annual Cricket sports camp for children ages 6-18.
Participated in Race against Racism event held in Lancaster.
Conducted free Medical Seminar for the Lancaster Community.
Coordinated community-wide dialogue about diversity.
Donated approximately 100 bags filled with “back to school” items to kids at the Clipper Stadium.