Houston, Jul 19: Bengalis' penchant for art, music and culture was on display here as dance, music and literary discussions took centre stage at a convention here that drew community members from Canada and India besides the US.
The opening ceremony featured a 45-minute spectacular fusion dance performance that told the story of Bengal through the music at the three-day North American Bengali Conference (NABC) which organised by the Tagore Society of Houston at sprawling George Brown Convention centre.
Over 140 events were organised for the conference which included an exhibition displaying Indian manufacturers products from jute to textiles, books, handicrafts, food products and especially jewelry. The area was like a huge, well-laid out Bengali Bazaar, in the midst of which was a stage for performers and fashion shows, drawing a sizable crowd.
The conference kicked off with the business forum, "Houston 2025 and Beyond", highlighting the future of energy. An MOU was signed at a gala dinner between Mumbai Port and Port of Houston.
The convention also saw performances by sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons - Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan. A dance performance by actress Tanusree and her troupe was a big hit.
Organisers presented 'Bishwer Sera Bengali Puraskar' (World's Best Bengali awards) to Prabir Roy, one of the founding members of the Cultural Association of Bengal, as well as to actress Konkana Sen Sharma and singer Shreya Ghoshal, among others.
An exhibition of Tagore Paintings was another attraction at the convention. The event ended with a two-and half hour mesmerising concert by Ghoshal, who kept an estimated 5,000-strong audience glued to their seats till midnight last Sunday.