SKOKIE, ILLINOIS, September 29, 2003: Performing under the umbrella of the Ramayan Institute, artistes from Thailand, Indonesia and India came together to perform their rendition of the epic Ramayan for a crowd of several hundred in the U.S.A. Chantimar Sriaroon, a Thai and president of the institute says, "Ramayan tells the story of King Rama's life in Ayodhya. While this story originated in India, it transcends time and cultural boundaries. Its universal message of family values, duty and seeking truth has spread throughout Southeast Asia, becoming a symbol of tradition and Asian heritage." Newal Agnihotri, past president and trustee of the Ramayan, comments, "The annual dance events have garnered a loyal following and run to a packed theatre. Next year, artistes from the Philippines and Sri Lanka will be joining the performances." Each country brought their unique expressions to the performances. For example, the Indian troupe performed a Bharatanatyam dance while the Thai troupe enacted Ravana's visit to Sita in Sri Lanka.