Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

india independence day 2015

Florida communities celebrating the festive occasion include:


The Federation of Indian Associations of Tampa Bay (FIA of Tampa Bay) will celebrate India Independence Day on Sunday, Aug. 16, at the India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. The day begins at 9 a.m. with commercial exhibits followed by art and cooking competitions at 9:30 and 10 respectively, imaginative candle making workshop at 11 and flag hoisting at 1:30.

The cultural programs, including FIA Music and FIA Dance Idols, among others, will be from 2:30 p.m. Guests of honor are USF College of Medicine Associate Dean for International Affairs Dr. John Sinnott, Geography Bee volunteer coach Kumar Nandur who has trained national champions. For more information, see ad on page 16.


Hindu Society of Central Florida and the HSCF New Age Group will celebrate India’s Independence Day on Sunday, Aug. 16, from noon to 2 p.m. in the mandir community hall, 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry. There will be a cultural program. Indian snacks and hot tea/coffee will be provided. Entry is free with prior RSVP. For information, call Dev Sharma at (407) 862-9920, Madan Arora at (407) 971-9259 or e-mail [email protected]


The Association of Indians in America (AIA) South Florida chapter along with other local Indian organizations will hold an annual Independence Day Mela from noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 16, at The Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Admission and parking is free. On the agenda is cultural entertainment of music and dance, and Indian food. For details, call Piyush Goyal at (954) 465-4885, Naveen Mehan at (954) 294-8610 or visit


The Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville will celebrate India’s Independence Day from 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22, at Nease High School, 10550 Ray Road, Ponte Vedra Beach. All ICS members and regional organizations of the Jacksonville area are invited. Activities include a skit, film presentation, songs, dances, quiz and essay competition. The event is open to all and free to the public. For information, e-mail [email protected] or visit


The Fort Myers India Association will hold Independence Day celebrations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 16, at Lakes Park shelter C-1, 7330 Gladiolus Drive. For information, e-mail [email protected] or visit


The Indian Association of the Space Coast will hold India Day celebrations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8, at Melbourne Auditorium, 625 E. Hibiscus Blvd., in Melbourne. Admission is free. For information, call (321) 288-7717, e-mail [email protected] or visit


India's Independence Day will be celebrated on Saturday, Aug. 22, at Indian Cultural & Education Center (ICEC) in its Main Hall. ICEC is at 1115 S.W. 13th St., Gainesville. Admission is free. For details, call Hema Agarwal at (386) 266-7750, email [email protected] or visit


The India Association of Tallahassee (IATLH) will hold Utsav/India Day 2015 on Saturday, Aug. 15. The event is to celebrate India's Independence Day and showcase 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. The event is free. For time, venue and other details, e-mail [email protected] or visit

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This month, Khaas Baat celebrates its 11-year anniversary in print. We want to acknowledge and thank our dedicated columnists, past and present for their invaluable contributions, and well-wishers for their help and encouragement. And, of course, a publication cannot survive without support from advertisers.

Kudos also go to community leaders across Florida for keeping us informed about events happening in their town. At times, we hear about news and events too late. We request community leaders and organizers to note our monthly deadline, the 20th of every month for the following month’s issue, when planning activities. For the last four years, we have been a strategic partner of the INDO-US Chamber of Commerce, Tampa. We look forward to continuing with the partnership for many more years to come. We hope we have made a difference with our coverage of community events. We request regular readers to share Khaas Baat with your Florida friends. As always, we welcome suggestions and ideas on how we can better serve the Indian American community in Florida.

Join us on social media to keep up with the latest news and events. Find us on facebook at and follow us on Twitter @khaasbaat. Khaas Baat is proud to be the ONE AND ONLY Sunshine State publication to offer comprehensive coverage of happenings in your Florida Indian community.



A little glitz, some glamour and a lot of culture returns to Tampa Bay

IIFAThe 5th India International Film Festival of Tampa Bay (IIFF) will kick off on Friday, Aug. 28, at the Carmike Cinemas (formerly Muvico) Centro Ybor 20. The three-day festival is a celebration of culture, tolerance and films. Movies will be shown in English, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Nepali and other languages. The event is more than a chance to take in the movies; it is a chance to educate and inspire. The short films and documentaries chosen are meant to leave audiences with a greater understanding of the issues facing India.

The festival will open with a red-carpet reception at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 28 with filmmakers and other VIPs in attendance. The second and third day (Aug. 29-30) of the festival begin at 1 p.m. with film screenings in two theaters simultaneously. Historic Ybor city will be transformed into a scene out of a movie with the streets full of colorful Indian culture.

Many of the featured films have won accolades at the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. IIFF provides the Tampa Bay community an opportunity for increased awareness of Indian culture through films. Also, attendees have the chance to watch great independent films and interact with filmmakers.

IIFF has gained worldwide recognition for being one of the nation’s premiere festivals dedicated to Indian cinema. The festival highlights work by independent filmmakers who capture the spirit and essence of issues surrounding Indian society and culture. Details of all films and schedules will be available at

The festival is an initiative of the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce and this year’s presenting sponsor is HCI Group Inc. HCI Group, Inc. The company’s largest subsidiary, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company Inc., is a leading provider of property and casualty insurance in Florida.

Individual movie tickets are $10. Opening night ticket, which includes dinner and cocktails, is $50. The festival pass includes entry into every film screening and all festival events (excluding Saturday night party) is $75; a one-day pass for admission into all films and on-site events on Saturday or Sunday is $25; a two-day pass is $40. Film passes are available at and at the door.

For information or sponsorship and other questions, email [email protected] or call (813) 308-9797.


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