The University of Pennsylvania’s popular a cappella group Penn Masala performed Bollywood songs ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official state visit to the United States.
Key details: Penn Masala performed in front of up to 3,000 guests on the South Lawns of the White House on Thursday.
The group, which was founded by students at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1990s, sang songs such as “Chaiyya Chaiyya” from the 1998 movie romantic thriller “Dil Se..” and “Jashn e Bahaaraa” from the 2008 historical drama “Jodha Akbar.”
They also performed Coldplay’s hit song “Viva la Vida.”
About the group: Touted as “the world’s first South Asian a cappella group,” Penn Masala have released 12 full-length studio albums in the span of almost three decades.
Back in 2009, the group notably performed for former President Barack Obama at the White House.
In addition to performing Bollywood songs, Penn Masala are known for composing original pieces that explore the experiences of growing up with Western and Eastern cultures.
Visiting the U.S.: On Thursday, Biden welcomed Modi to the White House, where the two leaders discussed several topics, including the East and South China Sea, defense deals and China’s growing global influence, according to reports.
Some lawmakers decided to boycott Modi’s White House visit, citing the leader’s treatment of Muslims in India.
One of those who boycotted the state visit was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, NY-14), who issued a statement encouraging her colleagues to join her in “stand[ing] for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of the press.”