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Happy Independence Day, India!

Here are some of the communities in Florida celebrating India’s Independence Day this month:


An India Independence Day Parade and cultural program will be held noon to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, at the Hindu Society of Central Florida community hall, 1994 Lake Drive, in Casselberry/Orlando area. To enter youth skits and a costume competition or for more information, call Dipti Smart at (321) 695-4422, Minal Saoji at (407) 834-1512 or visit The celebration will be followed by the HSCF New Age Group's program from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information, call Dev Sharma at (407) 862-9920, Madan Arora at (407) 971-9259 or e-mail [email protected]


The Federation of Indian Associations of Tampa Bay (FIA of Tampa Bay) will celebrate India Independence Day on Sunday, Aug. 19 at the India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. The daylong activities begin at 10 a.m. and include Indian dance and Music Idol contest. Flag hoisting will be at 2:30 p.m. University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor will be chief guests. As part of the celebrations, FIA is conducting youth activities such as public speaking workshop, art competition, FIA youth debate and college admissions panel by recent graduates. Well-known singer Ajay Warriar, a guest performer who can sing in 14 Indian languages, will be judge of the “FIA-Tampa Bay Music Idol” contest. All events are free for participants and attendees. For information, contact FIA President Dr. Madhavi Sekharam at (813) 792-2646 or e-mail [email protected] or event chair Dr. Swarna Lokesh at (727) 934-1564 or e-mail [email protected] or visit


The Association of Indians in America (AIA) South Florida chapter along with other local Indian organizations will hold India Independence Day celebrations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Drive, Coral Springs. Admission is free. On the agenda are a parade, cultural entertainment, henna tattoos (mehndi), Indian food and fashion. For details, call Maya Kirpalani at (561) 866-3438, Ramola at (954) 629-5708 or visit


The Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville will celebrate India’s Independence Day on Sunday, Aug. 26, at University of North Florida’s Robinson Theatre, 4567 St. Johns Bluff Road, S. The parade begins at 4 and will end at 5:30 p.m. Participants can assemble at the Dunkin Donuts parking lot, Baymeadows Road. Then the cultural program is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the theatre. The event is free to the public. For information, e-mail Jitesh Doshi at [email protected], call (904) 638-2918 or visit


The Fort Myers India Association will hold an Independence Day Picnic on Aug. 19. For details, e-mail [email protected] or visit


The Indian Association of the Space Coast will hold India Day celebrations from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd., in Melbourne. The event is free for all. For information, call Vipul Patel at (321) 271-7072, e-mail [email protected] or visit


India's Independence Day will be celebrated at Indian Cultural & Education Center (ICEC) in its Main Hall on Sunday, Aug. 19. ICEC is at 1115 S.W. 13th St., Gainesville. Admission is free. Lunch will be sold from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. to raise funds for ICEC, followed by a cultural program till 3. For details, e-mail Neeta Sriram at (352) 336-1434 or visit


The India Association of Tallahassee (IATLH) will hold India Day/Utsav 2012 on Saturday, Aug. 18, starting at 2 p.m. at Lincoln High School Auditorium (3838 Trojan Trail). The event is to celebrate India's Independence Day as well as to showcase the cultural talents of community members. In addition to songs and music, the event will also feature a Quiz contest and a speech contest for middle and high school students.  For more information, e-mail [email protected]

More Leading News

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In a few weeks, the eyes of the world will be watching Tampa.


Hindu Society of Central Florida (HSCF) will celebrate its 25th anniversary in December 2012.


The Hindu Society of Central Florida New Age Group celebrated the U.S. Independence Day last month.



Swami Swaroopananda TALKS AUG. 13-16 IN TAMPA AND AUG. 18-21 IN MIAMI

Submitted by Chinmaya Mission Tampa

Swami SwaroopanandaWhen Swami Swaroopananda visited Tampa and Miami 10 years ago, more than 1,500 listeners were uplifted and mesmerized in a span of five days. Chinmaya Mission welcomes Swamiji back after a long hiatus. And this year, in a span of four days, the whirlwind of wisdom, love and laughter is sure to be all the more powerful through his talks on “Reshape Your Destiny.”

Swami Swaroopananda is a world-renowned author, speaker and Vedanta teacher, widely acclaimed for his talks on Hanuman Chalisa, Ik Onkar and meditation, as well as his uniquely creative interactive workshops.

Swamiji’s talks keep everyone coming back for more because of the simplistic, practical, and easy teachings that can dramatically help improve daily life. The fascinating topics of Destiny, Mind, Love and I are geared to do just this, and motivate inner transformation.

Admission is free for the talks.

- Tampa: Aug. 13-16, Community Hall, Hindu Temple, 5509 Lynn Road; 7:15-9 p.m.,

- Miami: Aug. 18-21, Grand Ballroom, Miami Airport Marriott, 1201 N.W. Le Jeune Road; 7:30-9 p.m.,

For details on the “Strength” workshop on Aug. 19 in Miami, visit


By Shobana Daniell

Nirupama and Rajendra of the Abhinava Dance Company of Bangalore will present “Rang” on Aug. 17 in the Casselberry/Orlando area. The world-renowned and superb duo will bring their passion for the classical arts of India to the Central Florida audience. While their art form is rooted in the tradition of Kathak and Bharat Natyam, they also fuse folk and modern dance styles.

Abhinava’s musical compositions are a confluence of traditional Indian classical music with a wide range of global music that includes jazz and world music. Each dance composition is carefully crafted with intricate detailing in synchronization, choreography patterns, thematic costumes and suitable light and stage effects. The dance troupe has performed to packed audiences across India, Europe, America, Africa and the Middle East.

Nirupama and Rajendra“Rang” will take the stage at 7 p.m. in the Hindu Temple of Central Florida community hall, 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry. To book your $15, $25, $50 or $100 tickets, call HSCF office at (407) 699-5277 or visit





Radhe Mehta, daughter of Pandit Ramesh Mehta of Tampa, recently received the 2012 Head and Heart award, which is given to high school students and great leaders in the Florida community who show high social and emotional intelligence throughout their daily lives. They display a unique knowledge through their understanding of five skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible and ethical decision making and responsible skills-communication and conflict resolution.

The ninth-grader attends the IB program at Strawberry Crest High and participates in the Teens in Action leader development program.


Heta Patel, a student at the Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Kumon Math and Reading Center, was recently named a grand prize winner in Kumon North America’s Facebook Poetry Challenge. She won an all-expense-paid trip to New York City and a private lunch with Kumon North America’s president, Akira Hamanaka, at the company’s headquarters. Heta’s poem was chosen from nearly 600 submissions, each written in celebration of Earth Day. 

Daksha Jadeja is director of the Kumon center Heta attends. Kumon is an after-school math and reading enrichment program. Founded in Japan in 1958, the learning method uses an individualized approach that helps children develop a solid command of math and reading skills.


Eleventh-grader Sameer Eknath Naik, a student at Robinson High School in Tampa, has been awarded one of more than 600 National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarships for 2012-2013. The NSLI-Y program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to learn less commonly-taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs.

The NSLI-Y scholarship enables the Riverview teen to study Hindi in India for six weeks of the summer. The scholarship covers all program costs for participants, including domestic and international travel; tuition and related academic preparation; language testing; educational and cultural activities focused on language learning; orientations; meals; and accommodations.


An eighth-grader at Liberty Middle School, Surya Balaji won first place in Florida for Web Page creation at the recent FBLA State Leadership Conference 2012 in Orlando. FBLA stands for Future Business Leaders of America. FBLA - Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) is one of the largest and oldest student organizations, which prepares students for a career in business.

Know of any youth who have won an award or have a recent accomplishment? Send in your news on youth to [email protected] Please include relevant details and contact information.

CALL 813-758-1786.
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