Desi Talk - page 10

By Bhargavi Kulkarni
ired of playing the regular
antakshari and charades at
desi parties? Rutgers alum-
na Priya Shah has come up with a
perfect solution. Desi Chaat – a
spin off on the popular board
game Taboo – aims not just to
entertain, but also to educate
Indians about their culture, Shah
told the Daily Targum, the official
student newspaper of Rutgers
University in New Brunswick, N.J.
Citing personal experiences,
the New Jersey-based Shah told
the newspaper that while playing
board games like Taboo with her
parents, she noticed that they
could not successfully participate
because they did not know the
terminology as well as she did. So
she set out to find a solution to
this issue by creating the compa-
ny Culturally Inclined Productions
and came up with Desi Chaat – “a
mixture of words frommany dif-
ferent regions, foods, dance styles
and customs,” of India, she told
the paper.
On her company’s Facebook
page, Shah gives constant updates
on the game and has posted sev-
eral photos of people enjoying the
board game with a desi twist.
“Grab your Nana, Nani, Dada,
Dadi, Mummy, Papa,
Bhais, Behens, Betis, Betas,
Dosts and have a super-
mast time playing,” the
page says.
Shah graduated in 2011
with degrees in both eco-
nomics and communica-
tion and was actively
involved in the communi-
ty as both a member of the
South Asian sorority,
Kappa Phi Gamma, and
the Association of Indians
at Rutgers.
Desi Chaat has a lot in
common with Taboo. It
comes with a buzzer, pen-
cil, timer and a rule guide
and also includes a set of
250 cards with 1,000 differ-
ent words, the company’s
Facebook page says.
Each card has a main word
on top, and the player who is
not holding a card must guess
this word without using related
words listed underneath the
main word.
Shah told the Daily Targum
that one of the hurdles in cre-
ating her product was deciding
what needed to be included
with the game and assembling
the parts.
“I would get my buzzer from
one factory and order my proto-
types from China,” Shah said.
She took about two to three
weeks to receive each prototype,
and she said she would have to
start the process of creating the
game all over again after testing
each prototype.
Because of this process and
other challenges, the game took
Shah two years to complete and
was released last December.
Shah selected the parts and
created the design for the entire
game, and she said she funded
the project as well.
“I ordered 1,500 games and
started selling them frommy
house,” Shah said. “My living
room looks like a warehouse right
In deciding which terms to
include in the game, Shah sat at
the dinner table for hours with
her parents reading them the
words she had come up with and
would note how her parents
would react to these words and
decide which words should be
included and which should not.
Shah tested each word with her
parents before including it in the
game, but notes that the game is
appropriate for people of all ages.
Culturally Inclined Productions
sells the game for $33 on its web-
Board Game Aims to Entertain and Educate South Asians
February 14, 2014
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By a Staff Writer
n a historic move, the New
Jersey legislature passed a
bipartisan resolution
declaring Jan. 26, 2014 as
“India Day” in the state. The
resolution is an indication of the
growing importance of the
Indian-American community in
New Jersey.
Introduced by Democratic
Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula
and New Jersey State Senate
President Steve Sweeney, the reso-
lution garnered bipartisan sup-
port to recognize India’s 64th
Republic Day, the day in 1950
when that country adopted its
New Jersey has a significant
Indian-American population
which is among the fastest grow-
ing ethnic groups in the state
making up about 3 percent of the
population. Today, there are two
elected Indian-Americans in the
state assembly.
“I want to thank Assemblyman
Chivukula for his continued sup-
port and advocacy for the Indian
community in New Jersey,”
Sweeney is quoted saying in the
Jan. 7 release.
“The Indian-American com-
munity plays a vital role in our
state. It is my honor to congratu-
late them on the anniversary of
India Independence and to
declare January 26, 2014 as India
Day in the state of New Jersey.”
The resolution credits Indian-
Americans with making impor-
tant contributions to the state in
the fields of academics, business,
medicine and the arts. It also rec-
ognizes India as an important
strategic partner of the United
States, one that President Obama
was willing to support for mem-
bership of the United Nations
Security Council. It also notes the
U.S.-India civil nuclear coopera-
tion agreement and that India is
the 13th largest trading partner to
the U.S.
The resolution pays tribute to
Indian Consul General
Dnyaneshwar Mulay, who it says
has made a commitment to help
strengthen relations with the
Indian-American community,
New Jersey lawmakers, and mem-
bers of the administration as part
of the outreach program espoused
by the New Jersey State Assembly.
In conclusion, the resolution
on India “pays tribute to the
remarkable growth and meritori-
ous achievements of this great
nation and friend and to the con-
tributions and accomplishments
of the Indian-American commu-
New Jersey Legislature Declares January 26 India Day
– that’s all you need to know
New Jersey Senate President Steve
Sweeney and Assemblyman Chivukula
with the resolution in the Senate
Chambers in the New Jersey
Statehouse Jan. 26.
Gita Bajaj.
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