A celebration of the 65th anniversary of India’s independence and rediscovery is expected to attract over ten thousand people at Excelsior High School in the city of Norwalk. The 30th annual event is organized by two groups, Federation of Indo-American Association of Southern California (FIA-SC) and United Federation of Indo-Americans of California (UFICA).
This is the third year that FIA-SC has partnered with UFICA, and armed with roughly 50 volunteers have worked together to bring a memorable Independence Day celebration to Southern California.
Anju Garg, past president and chairman and current advisory board member of FIA-SC, encourages Southern Californians to attend one of the largest mela or fair around and taste a slice of India.
With poetic grace, Garg expressed her sentiments of this year’s event with the slogan, “Together we create, together we celebrate.” She adds, “There is something for everyone to do in this mela. Children like to participate in cultural activities and will receive certificates of participation, they can browse different booths and collect goodies like balloons and candy while their families meet up with friends and partake in celebrity sightseeing.”
Upon entrance, attendees can expect a smattering of approximately 100 booths which will allow them to mingle and mull over a sundry of wares and services such as trend setting Indian attire and glitzy baubles, ethnic music, and community information booths promoting bank, insurance and prayer services.
The enticing scents of indigenous tandoor appetizers, spiced favorites such as dosa, samosa, chaat and undhiyu as well as mouthwatering Indian desserts are sure to attract the hungry passersby who will also be entertained by both DJ and live music performances as part of the mela kickoff.
A formal ceremony will welcome invited guests and surprise celebrities as honorary grand marshals. Past year starlets in attendance were Bollywood bombshells Mallika Sherawat and Ameesha Patel who greeted eager fans with numerous rounds from a topless convertible.
Approximately 150 children and adult performers will present up to 30 acts “full of cultural fervor and national sentiment which will showcase the diverse cultures within India through folk and Bollywood dances, music and singing ” explains Garg.
Music and dance enthusiasts will enjoy a cultural program packed with local luminaries such as Varsha Parekh’s Noopur Dance Academy who will perform upbeat Bollywood and folk dances to Punam Kumar’s trailblazing dancers who spin Kathak fusion styles against global beats.
The consulate general of India, Mr. Nagesh Parthasarathi from the San Francisco office will be the guest of honor for this year’s celebration and will likely partake in the flag ceremony. A flag hoisting ceremony of the Indian flag along with the American flag, and the singing of the national anthem of both countries will not only rekindle one’s connection to the motherland but also honor the two largest democracies in the world.
FIA-SC promotes exchange of valuable information, fosters mutual cooperation and concerns itself with social welfare and cultural activities for the people of Indian origin and provides an exchange of information with its sister organizations across the nation.
UFICA promotes various aspects of Indian religion, cultural values, festivals, fine arts, and literary activities in the County of Los Angeles, and the surrounding communities, in California. It also provides a forum for the exchange of information and mutual cooperation among sister organizations across the nation, and the world.