March 14, 2006 > Unity Festival
Celebrating our Community
by Sunil Dhar
The start of the Unity Festival was born of the national tragedy which occurred on September 11, 2001. The Indo-American Community Federation (IACF) began celebrating the diversity of cultural backgrounds in the Tri-City area as a way of promoting understanding and positive relations between the communities. The Unity Dinner has succeeded in uniting the communities and given the community a chance to gain a broader understanding of each other. This has led to new events, such as the Unity Festival jointly held in October 2005 by the IACF and Ohlone College.
"We started organizing Unity Dinners right after the events of September 11, 2001," said Jeevan Zutshi, founder and chairman of IACF. "It was important to bring people of different backgrounds and cultures together to foster unity in the community."
The Unity Festival was originally set for January to coincide with the birthday celebration of American Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King. However, this year, the City of Fremont was celebrating its 50th anniversary of incorporation as a city. As a result, the Unity Dinner was re-scheduled to occur on March 24. It will return to a January date in 2007.
The theme this year is the celebration of community service. Honorees at the Unity Dinner this year will be the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and the Celebrate Fremont committee. The Fremont Chamber of Commerce is responsible for organizing the largest arts festival in the Bay Area. With over 400,000 attendees over two days, the Fremont Festival of the Arts has become the destination to celebrate our business and cultural communities. The Celebrate Fremont committee has been working hard to foster the celebration of Fremont's 50th Anniversary celebration and to help lay a foundation for the future of the diverse community. "Only by understanding where we have been, can we discover our future together." said Zutshi.
The keynote speaker this year is Congressman Mike Honda. Congressman Honda has been a very strong voice of multi-cultural unity in the Bay Area as well as in Congress.
The Unity Dinner will be held this year on Friday, March 24, 2006 at the Newark-Fremont Hilton. Festivities will include performances by many talented community members including a Mexican Ballet Folklorico, Indian Bhangra, Chinese Xing Jong Dance, folk song and Fan Dance. After dinner, dancing is scheduled with a DJ present to play the songs of your choice.
Please visit www.indocommunity.us or contact Jeevan Zutshi (510) 589-3702 for tickets and additional information.
Friday, March 24
6 p.m. - Midnight
39900 Balentine Drive, Newark