Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida
Florida News


By NITISH S. RELE, [email protected]

Here are a few of the communities celebrating India’s Republic Day.

SOUTH FLORIDA: The Indian Religious and Cultural Center (IRCC) will hold its Anand Bazaar/Republic Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27, at Miramar Regional Park, 16801 Miramar Parkway, Miramar. For more information, call IRCC President Victor Swaroop at (954) 394-5661, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.irccflorida.com

TAMPA: The Federation of India Associations (FIA) of Tampa Bay will hold its Republic Day event from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. On the daylong agenda is flag-hoisting (around 2:30); cultural program; rangoli, cooking and sports competitions; booths showcasing Indian states, Indian arts, crafts, clothes and jewelry; and food on sale. For more information, call Malti Pandya at (813) 931-1980, Ravi Narayanan at (813) 760-0323, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.fia-tampabay.com

ORLANDO: As part of Republic Day celebrations, the Indian American Chamber of Commerce will hold India Night on Jan. 27 at Amway Center, 400 W. Church St., from 4 to 6 p.m. before the Magic game. The program will include a Street Festival featuring Indian dances, music and display tables. For tickets, which include the game, call Rayfield Warren at (407) 916-2679 or e-mail [email protected]

GAINESVILLE: The India Cultural & Education Center in Gainesville will celebrate India’s Republic Day from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, 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 information, call (352) 374-4382, email [email protected] or visit www.icec-florida.org

JACKSONVILLE: The Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville will celebrate India Day from 3 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 3. Venue is yet to be determined. For more information, call ICS President Priya Ganesan at (215) 264-0073, e-mail [email protected], [email protected] or visit www.jaxics.org

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This month, get ready to celebrate the festival of kite flying, which also is known as Makarsankrant, Uttarayan, Lohri and Pongal. Here are some of the Florida communities that are holding the event:

TAMPA: The Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay will celebrate Uttarayan from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, at the Florida State Fairgorunds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. The Samaj will sell kites and thread. There is free entry and free parking for Samaj members. Refreshment snacks and lunch will be served. Food will be provided by the Samaj. For more information, visit www.gujaratisamaj.org or call Bhogilal Patel at (813) 784-6653 or Sudhir Shah at (727) 686-7424.

Also, the Maayboli Melawa Tampa Bay (MMTB) will hold its annual Makar Sankrant program from 4 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, at Hindu Temple of Florida, 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa. For information, e-mail Sanjiv Potdar at [email protected] or Anirudha Joshi at [email protected] or visit http://www.mmtbusa.org/

And on Sunday, Jan. 13, Sanatan Mandir, 311 E. Palm Avenue, Tampa, will celebrate Lohri from 7 p.m. For information, call the temple at (813) 221-4482. On Jan. 14, the Hindu Temple of Florida, 5509 Lynn Road, in Tampa will celebrate Makarsankrant with Surya Pooja at 10 a.m. For information, call the mandir at (813) 962-6890. Also, Ambaji Mandir will hold a Makar Sankranti Puja the same day. Ambaji Mandir is at 10991 58th St. in Pinellas. For more information, call the mandir at (727) 388-6685, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.ambajimandir.org

ORLANDO/APOPKA: The Gujarati Society of Central Florida will celebrate Uttarayan on Jan. 13. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Apopka City Athletic Complex, 3710 Jason Dwelley Parkway, Apopka. The event is free for 2012 society members; non-members pay $20. For more information, call Tino Patel at (407) 579-5050, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.gujaratisocietycfl.com

BARTOW/WINTER HAVEN: The Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida will celebrate Uttarayan 2014 from 10 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 6, at Mary Holland Park, North Broadway Ave., Bartow. For more information, call samaj president Himanshu J Patadia at (863) 519-0777, vice president Subhash S. Patel at (863) 648-0294 or visit www.bscfl.com

OCALA: On Jan. 13, 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.

MELBOURNE (SPACE COAST AREA): The Indian Association of the Space Coast (IASC) will celebrate Uttarayan from noon to 6 p.m. on Jan. 13 at 7575 W. Highway 520, Cocoa. For information, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.iascbrevard.com

JACKSONVILLE: The Hindu Society of North East Florida in Jacksonville will hold a Makarsankrant and Lord Ayyappa Puja on Monday, Jan. 14. For details, call the temple at (904) 268-7630 or visit hsnef.org

IACC and Orlando Magic India Night from 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27, at Amway Center, 400 W. Church St., Orlando. For tickets, which include the game, call Rayfield Warren at (407) 916-2679 or e-mail [email protected] Fans are invited to arrive early in the Amway Center and enjoy Magic India Day. Pre-game performances start at 4 p.m.



The Indian American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) and Orlando Magic will partner on Sunday, Jan. 27, to celebrate the first India Night celebration. Amway Center will host India Night with Indian dances – pre-game and half time – including a Bollywood dance routine performed by the Magic dancers and more. The program will include a Street Festival featuring Indian dances, music, display tables, and other activities from 4-6 pm. The Magic host the Detroit Pistons at 6. Also, there will be a high-intensity, half-time dance show.

Indian American youth who have won local Indian dance competitions will perform various dance styles such as bhangra, garba, dandiya, etc. Magic cheerleaders will incorporate some of the Bollywood dance routines in performances during the game. Indian snacks will be available at the concession stands and a short video on Indian culture and performing arts will play on the TV screens.

IACC has partnered with sponsors in the community, including the Central Florida Association of Physicians from the Indian Subcontinent (CAPI) to donate more than 1,000 tickets to underprivileged children of Central Florida so that they may see an NBA game at the Amway Center. Different levels of sponsorship packages are available. Tickets are now available for IACC’s India Night, a celebration of the culture and heritage of India. For sponsorship packages and event information, visit www.iaccorlando.com or call Beena Parikh at (321) 217-8605.

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