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Dr. Rao Musunuru

The 10th annual IndiaFEST put together by Palm Beach India Association will be on Saturday, Feb. 16, in downtown West Palm Beach.

According to organizers, IndiaFEST is a way to celebrate the rich ethnic and cultural diversity of India with the South Florida community. Over the past decade, IndiaFEST has become one of the premier events to occur in South Florida, with more than 15,000 people in attendance.

The outdoor event from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., which is free and open to the public, will feature musical, dance and cultural performances; food, clothing, and craft vendors; and art exhibits.

Meyer Amphitheater is at 105 Evernia St., West Palm Beach. For details, visit www.sfindiafest.com or e-mail info@sfindiafest.com


The inaugural events for Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA Inc. (HSS) year-long “SV150” celebration of Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary took place on Jan. 12 at more than 100 locations nationwide, attended by over 10,000 participants and guests. The event marked Swami Vivekananda’s actual birthday on Jan. 12, 1863.

The Arjun Shakha (chapter) of HSS held the event at Hindu Society of Central Florida temple, Orlando, on Jan. 12. It included cultural performances, yoga demonstrations and other activities.

As part of the celebrations, HSS also opened the registration portal for its first-ever DharmaBee, a nationwide quiz contest for children between kindergarten and eighth grade, at www.dharmabee.org This edition of the DharmaBee will have questions related to Bhagwan Sri Krishna along with the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda. Children qualifying in the preliminary online exam can then take the test at local, regional and national levels with a chance to win $50,000 overall in prizes.

HSS will conduct many more activities in 2013 as part of its observance of Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary. These will include programs for high school and college students, a traveling exhibit on Swami Vivekananda’s life, “Vacation with Vivekananda” excursions to locations where Swami Vivekananda visited during his travels in the United States; and a culminating “Dharma and Yoga Fest,” scheduled simultaneously on a regional basis to commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s groundbreaking address at the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago on Sept. 11, 1893.

For more details about these events, visit www.hssus.org/sv150. For information about the nationwide quiz contest and registering children, visit www.dharmabee.org


Dancers at Indiafest in Melbourne.

The 16th annual Indiafest will be held 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 9, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at the Wickham Park Pavilion, 3845 N. Wickham Road. Presented by Manav Mandir, this year’s theme is “Celebrating 100 Years of Bollywood.” The Discover India booth will carry the theme with props, colorful displays, and historical information on the evolution of Indian Cinema over the last century. Of course, there will be mouth-watering Indian cuisine, entertainment throughout the day with traditional Indian music from the sitar, tabla and santoor, yoga and Zumba demonstrations, and then traditional folk, classical and modern Indian dances while the fashion show will be the highlight of the day. Vendors will sell jewelry, clothes, arts and crafts, music and videos.

Started as a humble effort by the community, today Indiafest is a symbol of cultural enrichment. The volunteer-run organization has supported numerous charities such as The Hope Center, Early Intervention Program, Crosswinds Project, The Spot Light Theater, Bright Star for Grieving Children, Cancer Care, The Brevard Hindu Temple, Meals on Wheels, and Red Cross. This year, the organization has selected the “Sentinels of Freedom” as the special charity. Sentinels of Freedom assist severely wounded or disabled veterans as they return home from their service to the country.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 12 and under and kids younger than 5 years of age are free. For more information, call Nina Gadodia at (321) 779-0110, Yasmin Majeed at (321) 720-8590, e-mail info@indiafestbrevard.org or visit www.indiafestbrevard.org

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