India won its status as a sovereign nation on August 15, 1947 following an independence movement which called for non-violent resistance and civil disobedience by the Indian National Congress. Much of the frenzied nation stayed awake to witness the unfurling of British dominance and listen to the famous midnight speech, “Tryst with Destiny,” by India’s first freely elected Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru acknowledging the transfer of power.
In the United States, the lighting of a symbolic ghee lamp by local political dignitaries, a flag salute, the singing of patriotic songs and the national anthems of India and the United States are performed to mark the occasion.
Below is a list of local celebrations in Southern California.
Los Angeles County:
Friday, August 15. Radio5 events presents Indiafest 2014 and the 6th annual India Independence Bash with Mumbai celebrity DJ Nasha, fashion show, Bollywood electronic dance music and bhangra music. Cashmere Nightclub 6757 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. General admission: $15 includes free India flagstick and India temporary tattoos. For more information: http://www.radio5events.com.
Saturday, August 16. Federation of Indians in America of Southern California hosts India Independence Day celebration. Cultural program, kid’s carnival. 5-10 p.m. Artesia Park at 18750 Clarkdale Ave., Artesia. Free. For information contact: Ishwar Deedwania (562) 882-9922.
Saturday, August 16. India Association of Los Angeles (IALA) hosts celebrations with cultural programs inclusive of heath fair. 3-10 p.m. Granada Hill Charter High School, 10535 Zelzah Ave., Granada Hills. Free. Contact: Raman Chadha (818) 458-5595 or (818) 335-8454.
Friday, August 15. Hosted by Federation of Indian Communities of Southern California and Lions Club of Little India. FICSC Chairman-Ajay Khetani, President-Raj Walia, Lion’s Club-Chairman-Dilip Butani. 5 p.m. Tickets $25 per person or $250 for a table of 10. Amaya Restaurant, 7850 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park. (714)523-8880.
Saturday, Aug 23. United Federation of Indo-Americans of California (UFICA) hosts a celebration. Entertainment inclusive of singer Preetysha and a fashion show. 1 p.m. with cultural program beginning at 5 p.m. Sanatan Dharma Mandir, 15311 Pioneer Blvd., Norwalk. Free. Chairperson Vasu Pawar (909) 389-8262.
San Diego County:
Sunday, August 24. The San Diego chapter of Federation of Indians in America (FIA) will hold celebrations inclusive of local artists performing Indian song and dance. 2:30 p.m. Escondido Performing Arts Theater, 340 N Escondido Blvd., Escondido. Tickets $10; $5 for children 12 and under.
Tuesday, August 26. FIA hosts India Day. Pregame activities include a demonstration cricket game on the infield. 5:30 p.m. Padres Baseball Stadium, Petco Park, 100 Park Boulevard, San Diego.
Saturday, August 30. FIA hosts a flag hoisting ceremony followed by short performances. 10 a.m. Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. Enter from President’s Way off Park Blvd., 1549 El Prado # 10 San Diego. Free. Tickets and information: Madhao Saste (858)4819702, Kulbirsingh Ghai (858) 349-1111.