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August 6, 2010 > Celebrate the spirit of freedom and unity

Celebrate the spirit of freedom and unity

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Kanika Chhabra

Patriotic hearts rejoiced as India became a sovereign nation and its martyrs triumphed on 15th August in 1947; this date is etched in Indian history. It is of special significance to the Indian community commemorating that nation's independence after nearly 200 years of British colonial rule. "Federation of Indo Americans of Northern California (FIA), a nationally recognized organization, is an umbrella organization for 43 other regional organizations. Festival of India became an instant success when it started in 1992. The annual event provides a much needed platform for the entire Indian community living in Northern California to come out and mingle," said Deepak Chhabra. "On this day in 1947, the world's biggest democracy woke up breathing in the air of freedom to herald a new beginning as a sovereign country," said FIA spokesperson and Chair of Booths, Yogi Chugh. "Since then it has become a day of special significance, celebrated with pomp and glory."

Celebrations will begin Friday, August 13 with an official flag raising ceremony at San Jose' City Hall at 6:30 p.m. followed by a two day celebration on August 14 and August 15 in Fremont. Festivities include a health fair, cultural programs and dance competition. The health fair offers medical and dental attention by specialists and nurses. "Attendees can receive a general health review including test of blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, eye examination and a dental checkup free of cost," said Romesh K. Japra, MD, Convener and President of Federation of Indo Americans of Northern California (FIA).

Painting competition and game stalls will be additional attractions for kids. Register in advance by sending an email to Ajay Jain at or call (510) 378-0698.

Sunday's grand parade showcases India's multicultural character and a variety of cultural shows will highlight festivities in Fremont. The parade is a work of art put together by Parade Chair Deepak Chhabra and his team featuring 15 floats representing different states of India, the Indian-American community and businesses organizations. The grand carnival will feature Bollywood star Aftab Shivdasani and Bollywood Singer Arpita Mukerjee who will serve as Grand Marshals leading the parade. "Every year, the event showcases Indian culture and heritage through Mela (Fair), booths, dances and floats to mainstream Americans and the next generation," said Chair Cultural program, Vijaya Aasuri. Parade assembly is at 12 noon sharp, with entertainment and shows set to commence at 2 p.m., continuing throughout the day.

Festival of India offers a colorful and wide ranging panorama of traditional as well as contemporary live entertainment, exuberant dances and a variety of cultural exhibits. Over 120 booths will feature Indian arts and crafts, Indian clothes, jewelry, food, and more. "The festival offers a shopping spree of choice items; food booths will serve delectable dishes from famous Indian cuisine," said FIA spokesperson and Chair of Booths Mohinder Khanna.

Festival of India
Saturday, Aug 14 and Sunday, Aug. 15
10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
39439 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
(Paseo Padre Pkwy and Walnut Ave)
(510) 299-9771

Saturday, August 14

Free Health Fair
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Painting competition for kids
1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Dance competition
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Contact Ajay Jain (510) 378-0698

Sunday, August 15

Mela (Fair)
10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Cultural Program
11 a.m. - Noon

Noon - 2 p.m.
Musical Extravaganza with Bollywood singer Arpita Mukerjee
Begins at 2 p.m.

Festival of India Banquet
8 p.m. to midnight
San Ramon Marriott
2600 Bishop Dr., San Ramon
(510) 938-8668
$50 per person
Free for FIA members

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