White House plays Saare Jahan Se Accha, serves golgappa, samosa  

The White House's Marine Band played 'Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara' on the occasion of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month.

May 14, 2024 - 15:32
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White House plays Saare Jahan Se Accha, serves golgappa, samosa   

The White House's Marine Band played 'Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara', a popular Indian patriotic song, at a reception on the occasion of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month. The reception also featured Indian street food, including golgappa (pani puri) and khoya sweet.

This was the second time in less than a year that 'Sare Jahan Se Accha' was played at the White House. Last time it was played was during the State Visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 23, 2023. This reflects the strong US-India relationship, according to Indian-American community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria.

At a reception with President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, celebrating the AANHPI Heritage Month, the song 'Saare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara', written by Mohammad Iqbal during India’s Independence struggle, was played twice by the White House Marine Band upon the request of Indian Americans invited by the president for the annual event, reported a news agency.

The reception also featured Indian street food, including golgappa (pani puri) and a sweet dish khoya. This is a recent addition to the White House menu, alongside the traditional samosas.

Bhutoria believes the growing popularity of golgappa in the US is due to American officials trying street food while traveling in India.

“A lot of US administration officials, whether officials from the State Department or the White House, have traveled to India many times. I'm sure their counterparts over there say that of all the street foods, you need to try golgappa,” Bhutoria said.

The guests included scores of Asian Americans and several Indian Americans, including US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who played an important role in the fight against COVID-19.

The month of May is celebrated as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month. AANHPI encompasses cultures from Asia and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, including around 50 ethnic groups and 100 languages.

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