AUGUST 2012
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Books


Book Reviews By NITISH S. RELE,
Editor@khaasbaat.com

When the Lotus Blooms“From Indians to Indian Americans: How Tampa Bay’s Indian Community Was Built,” by Paul Guzzo

The Center for Understanding Modern Indian American Culture (CUMLAC) and author Paul Guzzo have released a new book, “From Indians to Indian Americans: How Tampa Bay’s Indian Community Was Built.”

The book is a series of profiles of some of Tampa Bay’s Indian leaders that together tell the history of their community. Khaas Baat publishers Nitish S. Rele and Shephali J. Rele are also featured in a chapter.

When people speak of the immigrant groups that helped to build Tampa into the great city that it is today, they usually speak of the Italians, Cubans and Spaniards, because their contributions in the late 1800s and early 1900s laid the groundwork that turned a sleepy section of Florida into a thriving metropolis. But, in the last three decades, Tampa has seen the rise of the vibrant Indian American community that is helping lead Tampa into a better tomorrow.

The book’s purpose is to shed light on Tampa’s least known culture and document the men and women who built Tampa’s Indian community before they all pass on. Other immigrant cultures waited over a century to begin compiling their histories and some of them have been lost. By documenting the history while most of the first and second generation Indians are still alive and young, it has been possible to compile a firsthand look at how Tampa’s Indian American culture was built, who its leaders are and from where they’ve come.
This book is the brainchild of Rooney Sahai, a New Jersey-based native of India who had grown tired of the lack of awareness of Indian American communities throughout the United States. He founded CUMLAC to remedy the problem by publishing a series of books on Indian communities in every major city in the United States. This is the first.

Author Guzzo moved to Tampa in 1999. He was the head writer of La Gaceta Newspaper’s English section for 10 years. He continues to write for La Gaceta as a columnist.

“From Indians to Indian Americans” ($16.95) is available at www.amazon.com

For more information, contact Paul Guzzo at paulguzzo@hotmail.com or (813) 943-5585.

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