White House plays Sare 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 (sweetmeat).

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 news agency PTI.

“This was an amazing celebration of the White House’s AANHPI Heritage Month at the Rose Garden. The best part was that as I walked into the White House, I was greeted by the musicians playing ‘Sare Jahan se Accha Hindustan Hamara’,” Bhutoria said.

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.

“Last year when I was here, there were golgappas/pani puri. This year too, I was looking for them and then suddenly, one of the servers brought in the pani puri/ golgappa. That was amazing. The taste was dingy and a little spicy. Perfect!” Bhutoria told PTI after attending the AANHPI reception in the Rose Garden of the White House on Monday evening.

Bhutoria met White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford and asked her about the golgappa during the event.

“I asked her, did you make the golgappas in the White House? She said, yes, we made everything in the White House,” Bhutoria was quoted as saying by PTI.

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

“A lot of US administration officials, whether officials from the State Department or the White House, have travelled 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.

Published By:

Girish Kumar Anshul

Published On:

May 14, 2024

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