MILAAP is the officially recognized Indian Students' Organization (ISO) at the University of Wyoming. We are a Recognized Student Organization (RSO) of the Associated Students of University of Wyoming (ASUW). The underlying objective of our organization is to inculcate, diversify and promote the rich culture and heritage of India within the Laramie and university community.
MILAAP strives to serve as a connection among people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. Members of MILAAP constitute people from different faiths, languages, ethnical and geographical backgrounds. Everyone in the Laramie community is welcome to become a part of MILAAP. Apart from this, we also help to make the journey and transition of new incoming students from India smooth and easy by helping them in their arrival process.
Our motto: " To bridge the cultural gap amongst people of different origins by learning, understanding and celebrating diversity and education ".
For more info: Facebook-Milaap
This year marked the 11th anniversary of the Diwali Night event organized by MILAAP-The Indian Students’ Organization official RSO at the University of Wyoming. UW’s new President, Dr. Robert Sternberg and Mrs. Karin Sternberg were the chief guests at our event. This was the first event organized by any RSO this academic year at which President Sternberg and Mrs. Sternberg served as the official chief guests. The chief guests were welcomed by MILAAP’s President and Advisor, Vishal Nangla and Mark Ritchie, respectively. The lighting of the traditional Indian lamp, called the “Diya” marked the opening of Diwali Night 2013. The show was hosted by Arup Dey (Ph.D student in Molecular Biology) and Valerie Vasquez (Undergraduate student in the Department of Art). The Cultural segment of the show commenced with the performance of Pandit Rajeev Taranath (Sarod maestro) and Pandit Abhiman Kaushal (Tabla player) who gave the audience a taste of Indian Classical Music. The entire audience was mesmerized by their 30-minute performance and the entire Arts and Sciences auditorium echoed with a huge applaud for their performance. Both the musicians arrived from India and traveled to Laramie via California and Denver. The Department of Music and MILAAP jointly collaborated in bringing the musicians to Laramie. Despite being jet-lagged after the long flight, both the artists rendered a breathtaking performance. Next followed a Fashion Show by UW students (which was a mix of Indian, Nepalese and American students) based on the theme of “Indian Wedding”. The first part called the “Sangeet” was performed by the girls adorned in sparkling and shining beautiful Indian sarees. The second part was performed by the men, again dressed in beautiful Indian style “Sherwanis”. The fashion show concluded with the “Baraat” portion of the wedding wherein, the groom was welcomed by the friends and families of the girl. The groom comes to the bride’s house with his friends (called the “Baraatis”) in full enthusiasm and excitement, and at the same time dancing to popular Hindi wedding songs. The girl’s family and friends welcome the groom by showering flowers on him and then the groom and the bride get married and exchange vows to live together for the rest of their life. Last but not the least was the performance by “Mudra Dance Studio” based in Aurora, Colorado. This segment was the highlight of the entire “Cultural Show” part of Diwali Night 2013. A group of 12 performers danced to a mix of classical Indian music as well as Bollywood for 45 minutes consecutively. The vibrant colored traditional Indian dresses and their different style of dance was highly appreciated by the audience in the form of thunderous claps for a couple of minutes at the end of their performance. This conclude the “Cultural Show” part of Diwali Night 2013 after which, everyone proceeded to the Union ballroom to enjoy delicious Indian cuisine catered by the famous “Star of India” restaurant based in Fort Collins, Colorado. The entire lobby area outside the ballroom was heavily crowded with people as they waited patiently in line for their turn to be served the food. A couple of minutes before the Bollywood DJ Night Dance Party, a bunch of Indian students organized a “Flash Mob” dancing to the tunes of South Indian music. Once the Bollywood DJ Night party started, the entire dance floor got crowded with everyone dancing to the “rocking” tunes of DJ Rinku and DJ Paul (for two hours straight!) which comprised of a blend of different types of music from India. Both the DJ’s (who are brothers) are based in Denver and they regularly perform at a lot of discos, parties and university campuses in the Denver and surrounding areas. This was the first time that the duo visited Laramie.
We would like to thank ASUW, Multicultural Affairs and all the departments on campus for financially supporting us in organizing this event! A special mention of thanks to Dr. Rodney Garnett (Professor of Ethnomusicology) for jointly helping us in inviting the classical Indian musicians to the UW campus for Diwali Night 2013, and a concert organized by the Department of Music the very next day after Diwali Night 2013 in the Education Auditorium. We can now proudly say that due to the enormous support and encouragement of the UW and Laramie community, Diwali Night is the biggest of all RSO’s events on the UW campus.
For "Diwali Night 2013", ASUW sanctioned a total amount of $9,040 in the form of available funds while 24 other departments on campus a total of $6,090 to MILAAP for this event. We would like to thank all the members, non-members and volunteers who worked really hard throughout the year in making MILAAP visible all over the campus and the Laramie community as well for creating a goodwill that is revered by a lot of other RSO's here at UW. We would like to specially thank our wonderful advisor, Dr. Mark Ritchie (Professor, Department of Art), Dr. Bonnie Zare (Professor, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies), Dr. Leah Hardy (Professor, Department of Art) and Dr. Rodney Garnett (Professor, Department of Music).
A special token of thanks to Bonnie for getting MILAAP involved with the “Keep Girls in School Project” and continuing to show an interest in us!