Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Rangila Breaks Records, Dazzles Sold-Out Crowds

On Nov. 17 and 18, Rangila, Georgetown University’s annual Premier South Asian Philanthropic Performing Arts showcase, brought its 29th year of performance to Gaston Hall. 

The showcase involved a team of over 400 dancers and relied on support from the Georgetown South Asian Society (GUSAS) in addition to months of preparation to promote the cultural diversity of the Indian subcontinent and raise funds for charitable causes. 

The themes of the past two years — “Rangila Revived” and “Rangila Growing the Roots” — took on more serious undertones in order to highlight the ability of students to overcome adversity after the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year’s performance broke this pattern, according to Senior Rangila Coordinator Saar Shah (MSB ’24) . 

Shah explained that this year’s theme allowed dancers to highlight a return to a more lighthearted style of performance while maintaining the core of the showcase. 

“With ‘Rangila Royale,’ we were focusing on opulence, espionage, glamor, glory,” Shah said in an interview with The Hoya. “On the more serious side, Rangila Royale was meant to reflect the idea that we are all tethered together by a greater mission and that mission has been what has driven Rangila for the past 29 years. It’s partially to give all students a place on campus, partially to explore South Asian culture and then ultimately, the main driver behind everything, which is to raise as much money as possible for our philanthropic partner.”

Full disclosure: Saar Shah is a sportswriter at The Hoya

While this year’s showcase involved shenanigans like wearing spy sunglasses at fundraising events and pieing board members and choreographers, its student organizers said philanthropy remains at the heart of Rangila’s mission.

This year, the proceeds from ticket sales and numerous fundraising events — including a candle sale and a collaboration with Georgetown Bubble, a student organization that sells bubble tea — went to Action Against Hunger (AAH), a humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting hunger and malnutrition worldwide. 

The organization is particularly active in supporting communities in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan by strengthening local health networks, providing treatment for malnutrition and preparing communities for response to natural disasters.

Rania Khan (SFS ’26), the philanthropy director for GUSAS,  said that AAH was carefully selected due to its history of providing humanitarian aid during times of crisis caused by climate change in Southeast Asia.

“When Pakistan was faced with devastating floods last year, 7 million children urgently needed access to nutrition services and 5.5 million people couldn’t access safe drinking water. Action Against Hunger was one of the first global organizations to respond, demonstrating their commitment to the cause,” Khan wrote to The Hoya.

This year’s performances mark the most profitable in the 29-year history of Rangila. Both shows sold out within minutes and 1,486 viewers filled the seats of Gaston Hall across the two days, according to Shah.

Junior Rangila Coordinator Sanaa Mehta (SFS ’25) said that although the totals are still being tallied, the fundraising output greatly exceeded expectations and broke the record for most money raised by Rangila.

“The record has been broken by a lot. It’s around $70,000, this is the number that we are currently looking at,” Mehta said in an interview with The Hoya. “Last year it was about $48,000 and the year before was about $25,000, so this is a massive jump.”

Instagram_@georgetownrangila | Georgetown University’s Southeast Asian Society (GUSAS) hosted its 29th annual philanthropic dance exposition, Rangila, on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, raising approximately $70,000 for Action Against Hunger, a humanitarian organization combatting malnutrition worldwide.

Mehta said that this year’s Rangila raised a tremendous amount of money for Action Against Hunger and also continued the decades-long tradition of strengthening both the South Asian and larger Hoya community on the Hilltop. 

Mehta said that Rangila is important to her largely due to the avenue it provides for community building on campus, especially as an international student from India.

“Home is far away,” Mehta said. “Yet with Rangila, the group of people, the community, the larger mission is really magical. I think it’s the one place where that homesickness is very much quenched. It’s amazing, 400 people feels like a lot, but I feel like we actually know so many of them now and it feels like the bonds are very personal.”

This year’s record-breaking fundraising and continued emphasis on community are only one chapter in the history of Rangila, according to Shah, who hopes for an even more impressive 30th anniversary celebration for Rangila next year.

“I just get emotional thinking about the scale of the event,” Shah said. “This was started by people 29 years ago that we’ll never meet, and in five or six years, it will be continued by people we’ll never meet, so we’re just writing one chapter in the coolest book ever.”

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