FLORIDA CELEBRATES INDIA REPUBLIC DAY
By NITISH S. RELE - email@example.com
Here are a few of the Florida communities celebrating India’s Republic Day.
SOUTH FLORIDA (LAUDERHILL): The Indian Religious and Cultural Center (IRCC) will hold its Lohri/Republic Day/Anand Bazaar from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 25, at Central Broward Regional Park, Corporate Shelter No. 1, 3700 N.W. 11th Place, Lauderhill. For information, call (954) 543-1539, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.irccflorida.com/
TAMPA: The Federation of India Associations (FIA) of Tampa Bay will hold its Republic Day event Sunday, Jan. 18, at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. Festivities will kick off at 9 a.m. with cooking/rangoli competition, commercial exhibits and youth essay writing. Flag hoisting will be at 1:30 p.m. followed by cultural programs. Booths by member associations in respective regional languages will be set up. Food/vendor booths will be day long. For more information, call FIA President Dr. Kotha Sekharam at (813) 792-2646, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.fia-tampabay.com
ORLANDO: The Hindu Society of Central Florida (HSCF) New Age Group will hold Republic Day celebrations from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 25, in the HSCF Community Hall, 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry. There will be a cultural program and speeches by guests. Indian snacks, tea/coffee will be served. Entry is free with prior RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan. 22. For more information, call Madan Arora at (407) 971-9259.
GAINESVILLE: The India Cultural & Education Center in Gainesville will celebrate India’s Republic Day from 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, at the center, 1115 S.W. 13th St. Indian food and snacks will be sold before the cultural program by the children of Gainesville community. For details, call Shaheda Qaiyumi at (352) 378-7112 or visit www.icec-florida.org
A partnership with Indo-US Chamber of Commerce, Tampa
The Indian American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) and Orlando Magic are partnering once again to host India Day 2015. The event will take place Saturday, Jan. 31, at Amway Center, 400 W. Church St., Orlando.
The program will include a Street Festival featuring Indian dances, music, display tables, and other activities from 4-6 p.m. The Magic hosts the Dallas Mavericks at 7. The Orlando NBA team’s cheerleaders will incorporate Bollywood dances in their halftime routine. Indian delicacies will be offered at the concession stands. The grand finale will be a performance by musician-singer Jay Sean on the floor of the house. The price of Sean’s performance is incorporated in the game ticket.
Jay Sean, who combines R&B and Indian-flavored songs, has seen commercial and grassroots success with several top 10 singles in the United Kingdom.
He started his own record label, “Jayded Records,” and released one of the most successful independent albums in the U.K. Jay established himself in America with a string of hits, including Cash Money and Republic Records’ first Billboard No. 1 single, “Down” featuring Lil Wayne. He was the first British, Urban artist to have a billboard No. 1 in America and the only one, at that time, to have two simultaneous singles in the top 10. Sean says his latest offering, “The Mistress II,” is a return to his musical roots; the mixtape is available as an EP on iTunes.
The IACC has partnered with community sponsors to donate more than 1,500 tickets to underprivileged children of Central Florida so they may watch a NBA game. “Come join the sparkle and the sizzle, relive the sights and smells and culture of India and cheer on your Orlando Magic,” said IACC President Tino Patel.
REACH FOR THE SKIES DURING MAKAR SANKRANT
Florida communities are gearing up to celebrate the festival of kite flying, which also is known as Makar Sankrant, Uttarayan, Lohri and Pongal. Here are a few:
BOCA RATON: The Punjabi Association of South Florida will hold Lohri from 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road; members are $20; non-members are $22; children 6 to 12 years are $10; for information, call Renu at (954) 384-2217, Usha at (561) 523-8665 or visit www.thepunjabiassociation.org
TAMPA: The Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay will celebrate Uttarayan from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11, at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. The Samaj will sell kites and thread. Use MLK entrance. Free for Samaj members. Non-members $15 and seniors are $10. Nominal parking fee is payable by all. Snacks and lunch will be served. For more information, call Manish Patel at (813) 270-9896 or Sudhir Shah at (727) 686-7424.
Also, the Maayboli Melawa Tampa Bay (MMTB) will hold its annual Makar Sankrant program on Saturday, Jan. 17. For details, call (813) 351-9110 or visit http://www.mmtbusa.org/
And on Tuesday, Jan. 13, Sanatan Mandir, 311 E. Palm Ave., Tampa, will hold a Lohri/Makarsankrant puja at 8 p.m. For information, call the temple at (813) 221-4482.
Also, Ambaji Mandir will hold Vishnu Sahasranama at 10 a.m. on Jan. 14. Ambaji Mandir is at 10991 58th St. in Pinellas. For more information, call the mandir at (727) 388-6685, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.ambajimandir.org
SARASOTA/BRADENTON: The Gujarati Association of Manasota will hold its Uttarayan celebration from noon to 5 p.m. on Jan. 18 at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota. Free for members, $10 for non-members. For information, call Rina Patel at (941) 518-3462 or visit www.gujaratiassociationofmanasota.com
ORLANDO: The Gujarati Society of Central Florida will celebrate Uttarayan on Sunday, Jan. 11. Venue is yet to be determined. For details, visit www.gujaratisocietycfl.com or go to https://www.facebook.com/gujaratisocietycfl
Pongal/Makara Sankranthi will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 14, by the Hindu Society of Central Florida (1994 Lake Drive) in Casselberry. For details, call Mahesh Kapadia at (407) 902-8634 or visit www.hindutempleorlando.org
The Orlando Marathi Mandal will hold its Makar Sankrant event on Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. at Barnett Park, 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando. On the agenda are volleyball, cricket, soccer, football, badminton and, of course, kite flying. Mandal members are free; non-members $10; for information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://orlandomarathi.com/
BARTOW/WINTER HAVEN: The Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida will celebrate Uttarayan from 11 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 11, at Mary Holland Park, North Broadway Ave., Bartow. For more information, call samaj president Subhash S. Patel at (863) 648-0294 or visit www.bscfl.com
OCALA: On Sunday, Jan. 18, there will be kite flying at Pushtidham (Haveli of Florida), 14080 S.W. 20th Ave. Road, in Ocala. For information, call Bharat at (973) 460-5936 or Raj Kamdar at (352) 568-5729.
DAYTONA BEACH/ORMOND BEACH: The Indian Cultural Society of Daytona has set its Kite Day Picnic from noon to 3 p.m. for Saturday, Jan. 10, at Bethune Pointe Park, 101 Bellevue Ave., Daytona Beach. For more information, call Sangeetha Bhoola at (386) 527-0855 or visit www.icsdaytona.com
MELBOURNE (SPACE COAST AREA): The Indian Association of the Space Coast (IASC) will celebrate Uttarayan from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 7575 W. Highway 520, Cocoa. For information, call (321) 271-6162, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.iascbrevard.com
or write to