Join DSCI and the Chennai committee at the Annual Gandhi Memorial Lecture! The speaker this year, Prakash Kumar Ph.D., Associate Professor of History at Colorado State University, will be presenting his lecture on “The Gandhian Voice: Protest Movements in India”. Learn more
India Movie Night: Bollywood Film: Aisha Discussion led by Dr. Vinnie Piturro and Dr. Jim Aubrey Date: March 12, 2013, Tuesday Time: 7:00-9:00 pm Where: Sie Film Center, 2510 East Colfax Avenue Tickets: will be $10 each, available at Learn more
The Denver-Chennai Sister Cities Committee cordially invites you to The 2012 Annual Mahatma Gandhi Lecture Gandhi in Madras Gandhi in Chennai Speaker: Andrew Muldoon Ph.D. Sunday, October 7, 2012 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Refreshments and discussion will follow Learn more
Please join us as we celebrate the Chennai Committee with our 25 for $25 dinner at Jai Ho Restaurant, 3055 S. Parker Rd., Aurora, CO 80014 on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 5:30pm. The $25 price includes a non-alcoholic beverage, Learn more
When: September 11, Sunday at 4:00pm Where: Denver Film Center, 2510 East Colfax Bombay is a story of love between a Hindu and a Muslim who become caught up in the religious riots of the early 1990s (in Tamil, Learn more
The Chennai Committee meets on a monthly basis. The meetings are usually potluck dinners at members’ homes. Please see the calendar of events for meeting dates and times. Chairperson: Karin Schumacher Phone: 303.321.1634 Email: email@example.com
- Chennai began as a British colony called Fort St. George when the English East India Company arrived to establish a factory. This area was home to many British colonials and workers. As the colony grew, it incorporated other European settlers and native towns. The colonists later named the settlement Madras, after one of the native towns, Madraspatnam.
- In 1999, the name was changed once again by a ruling party to Chennai. The name came from another native village, Chennapattanam.
- Today, the city of Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu in the southeastern part of India, located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal.
- It is the fourth largest city in India with an area of about 60 square miles and over 4.5 million inhabitants. This sprawling metropolis is one of the major ports of India, often called the “Gateway to the South.”
- Three of the 14 major languages of India are primarily spoken in Chennai: Hindi (the national language), Tamil (the local language), and English (used for business).
- While there are large Muslim and Christian populations within the city, the primary religion is Hindu. The city is known for its architecturally remarkable Hindu temples.
Chennai, became Denver’s seventh sister city in 1984. Near the tip of India on the Bay of Bengal, the scent of sandalwood floats in the warm air of this city which is considered the Hollywood of India. From 1636 until the year 1999, Denver’s 7th sister city was known as Madras but in the year 1999 the name Madras was officially changed to Chennai.
In Denver, the Chennai park and a special peacock named Krishna at the Denver Zoo remind us of our sister city.
To fulfill the mission of the Sister Cities, The Denver-Chennai Committee sponsors a variety of programs every year:
Ghandi Memorial Event: Beginning in 2001, the Chennai Committee began presenting an annual Gandhi Memorial lecture to the Denver residents in October. It is timed to coincide with the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. This lecture series is made possible by a generous endowment by Ms. Dolly Simon, the Honorary Secretary of the Indo-American Association.
Lectures: The members present lectures on India with slides to church groups, students of senior and junior high schools and other organizations. Book discussions: The Committee sponsors book discussions on an ongoing basis. Some examples are discussions on Dr. Deepak Chopra’s Ageless Body and Timeless Mind, Thakkoor’s Freedom at Midnight, Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom.
Cultural presentations: Shows of Indian music, dance and fashions with food bazaars. Every year, the Committee presents for the public at least one such event.
Exchange Programs: Youth exchange in which students from Denver visit Chennai and the Indo-America Association acts as their hosts during the length of such stays. Indian students are sponsored for higher studies in American colleges and universities.
Delegations: When special events are taking place in Chennai or in Denver, official delegations are sent to the respective cities. When the local or federal government decides to send a delegation to explore future business or trade relations with the sister city, the sister city members provide the necessary introductions to the members of the Denver delegation.
Special Events: Special events are events planned by the Denver Sister Cities International or the City of Denver in which all the sister cities participate. Some examples: In 1996, the Mayor of Denver, Hon. Wellington Webb decided to open the city hall as a place to exhibit art and craft works from the nine sister cities to enhance the opportunity for the people of Denver to have a greater appreciation of the people of these nine affiliates. The Denver-Chennai Committee volunteered to mount the first exhibit in March 1996. Hon. Mayor Wellington Webb and First Lady Wilma Webb opened this exhibit in the City Hall in March and the exhibit was on display until June 1996.
The Mayor requested that each of the Sister Cities mount a permanent display case in the city hall. In the permanent display case for Chennai, the Chennai Committee placed, among other things, a bronze statue of Gandhi made by Professor Gopal of the Chennai Arts and Crafts College. This statue is modeled after the one in Tobi Stock Square in London, where the Mahatma is depicted in a sitting position holding a book. An image of this London statue is shown on Indian television in the beginning of parliamentary news every night.
The Denver-Chennai Committee provides support for events sponsored by the Denver Sister Cities International such as the International Convention or the upcoming 50th anniversary celebration of the Sister Cities International.
Support of Fund-Raising Efforts: Gathering signatures from the people in the neighborhood to name a park honoring one of the sister cities. The Chennai Park next to the Indian Creek was born as a result of gathering signatures from that neighborhood by members of the Denver Chennai committee chaired by Mrs. Frances Walloch.
Following an earthquake in the sea bed of the Indonesian coast, Denver’s Sister City, Chennai, India, was devastated by the SE Asian tsunami on December 26, 2004. At least 6,000 people in the Chennai area died and homes and livelihoods were destroyed.
Denver Sister Cities International immediately responded to our Sister City’s needs and organized several fundraisers in the Denver Metro area, including a successful event with KHOW 630 Radio at the Denver Press Club* on January 5, 2005. This well – attended event included appearances by Mayor John Hickenlooper and Governor Bill Owens, as well as support by KHOW radio hosts, Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman, Rocky Mountain News columnist, Penny Parker, and Frontier Airlines.
Over $60,000 has been raised for short-term relief, all of which has been sent to Chennai. Denver Sister Cities International chose to donate all fundraising proceeds to Chennai – based nonprofit, Udavum Karangal~, or My Helping Hands, a Government of Chennai-approved nonprofit with a lengthy history of helping orphans and poor villagers. These proceeds will contribute to the rebuilding of villages in recognition of the Denver – Chennai Sister City relationship. Denver Sister Cities International plans to adopt 100 families on the Chennai coast, with an initial cost estimate of $500 / family. This amount will go towards long-term relief of constructing new homes and providing medicine, food, clothing, and utensils for cooking.
If you are interested in becoming involved with continued fundraising efforts for our long-term commitment to Chennai, please contact the DSCI Office. Denver Sister Cities International will also continue to accept monetary donations for this project, with checks made out to the “DSCI Chennai Tsunami Relief Fund”:
Denver Sister Cities International
2480 W. 26th Avenue, Ste. 20-B
Denver, CO 80211
For more information, visit:
My Helping Hands (Tsunami Relief)
The Chennai Committee meets on a monthly basis. The meetings are usually potluck dinners at members’ homes. Please see the calendar of events for meeting dates and times.
Chairperson: Karin Schumacher