Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


FORT LAUDERDALE: The Indian Regional and Cultural Center will hold its Diwali festivities from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, at Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. The program will include Bollywood, folk, classical music and dance, IRCC Children Show, and dance competitions. Other attractions are food, fashion, jewelry, arts and crafts, henna, yoga, kids’ zone and raffle prizes. For information, call (954) 543-1539, e-mail or visit

LAUDERHILL: Also, the eighth annual Divali Nagar will be held from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 N.W. 11th Place, Lauderhill. Attractions are vendor booths and entertainment by Samir Date and Dipalee Somaiya. For information, call (954) 846-9895, e-mail or visit

PALM BEACH: Palm Beach India Association will hold Diwali Show 2015 – Jeffrey Iqbal in concert with Jomy George, 8 p.m. on Nov. 7 at Palm Beach State College, Eissey Campus Theatre, 11051 Campus Drive, Palm Beach Gardens. Tickets start at $25. For information, call Avani at (561) 373-6138, email or visit

BOCA RATON: Spandana Foundation will present Diwali Dhamaka from 3 to 8 p.m. Nov. 7 at Olympia Heights Performing Arts Center, 20101 Lyons Road, Boca Raton. Tickets are $10 for kids and $15 for adults. There will be a cultural program, fashion, etc. For information, call (561) 309-5682 or visit


Annakut celebrations will begin from 4 p.m. on Nov. 14 at the Hindu Society of Central Florida (1994 Lake Drive) in Casselberry. For information, call (407) 699-5277, e-mail, or visit

Gujarati Society of Central Florida will celebrate its 35th anniversary/Diwali Dinner on Nov. 7 at Wyndham Orlando Resort, 8001 International Drive. Tickets for society members and family are $25 person; non-members and guest are $50 person; for information, call Kam Shah at (321) 689-6368 or visit

Shri Shivdham Hindu Temple will celebrate Diwali on Nov. 11 and Ankoot on Nov. 14. Devotees who wish to contribute in making dishes can call the temple at (407) 380-2661, Savitri at (407) 924-8799.

Maa Durga Sri Sai Baba Temple will celebrate Dhan Trayodashi (Dhan Teras) on Nov. 8 and Lakshmi Puja from 7 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 11. The temple is at 11414 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando. For information, call (407) 574-8044 or visit

Orlando Marathi Mandal will be celebrating Deepawali Dhamaka from 5 p.m. on Nov. 22. For venue and other details, e-mail or visit

Diwali-Annakut will be held from 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 at Swaminarayan Mandir, 1325 W. Oakridge Road, Orlando. For information, call (407) 857-0091.


Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay is hosting a Diwali Dinner and Executive Committee Election followed by Bollywood entertainment on Nov. 14 at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. The event, which begins at 4 till 11:30 p.m. (dinner closes at 8) is free to GSTB members; non-members are $15 and $10 for seniors 65 years and over. Everyone is requested to report first to Hindu Temple Hall next door for passes and registration. For more information, call Manish Patel at (813) 270-9896 or Sudhir Shah at (727) 686-7424.

Sheriff's Indian Advisory Council (SIAC) will present Festival of Lights on the River (Diwali) at the Tampa Waterworks Park, 1710 N. Highland Ave. from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 13. There will be live entertainment, food trucks and sparklers to the free event. For more information, call Dr. C.J. Patel at (813) 238 7410 or Dr. Vipul Kabaria at (813) 789-4369.

Telugu Association of Florida, Tampa Bay will celebrate Deepavali from 5 p.m. Nov. 21 at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. For details, call Dr. Neeraja Jasthi at (813) 789-4976 or visit

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir will celebrate Diwali and Annakut on Nov. 14 from 1 p.m. (aarti every hour). There will be fireworks at night. BAPS is at 9556 E. Fowler Ave. in Thonotosassa. For details, call (813) 986-5473.

Ambaji Mandir at 10991 58th St., in Pinellas Park, will hold Dhanteras Mahalaxmi Pujan at 6 p.m. on Nov. 9. Diwali Puja will be at 6 p.m. on Nov. 11. New Year Annakut will be at 6 p.m. on Nov. 12. For more information, call the mandir at (727) 388-6685 or visit

Laxmi Narayan Mandir, 4615 George Road, Tampa, will hold Diwali celebrations from 6 p.m. on Nov. 11 For information, call (813) 444-9786 or visit

Sanatan Mandir in Tampa will hold Maha Laxmi havan at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 and Deepawali Lakshmi/Chopda Pujan on Nov. 11. Annakut will be celebrated on Nov. 12. The mandir is at 311 E. Palm Ave. For information, call (813) 221-4482 or visit

Maayboli Melawa Tampa Bay (MMTB), a not-for-profit organization for promoting Marathi culture, is celebrating Diwali from 4 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Hindu Temple of Florida, 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa (please note that there is a venue/date change from the previous announcement by MMTB). MMTB members will be showcasing their talent through various instrumental, vocal and dance performances based on the theme of “Incredible India.” It is free for current members; non-members are $15 per person. For information, visit or email

Shri Saraswati Devi Mandir at 16220 Livingston Ave., Lutz, will hold Diwali celebrations at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9. For information, call Pandit Purnanan Sharma at (813) 486-8681.

Shree Raam Mandir after 7411 E. Comanche Ave. in Tampa will celebrate Diwali from 7 p.m. on Nov. 7. For details, call Narine at (813) 334-0443.

Rajasthani Association of Tampa Bay will hold its Dipawali celebration on Nov. 21. For time, venue and other details, call Rashmi Jakhotia at (813) 962-4172.


Diwali celebrations will be from Nov. 9-12 with Annakut darshan from 1 to 3 p.m. on Nov. 15 at Pushtidham (Haveli of Florida), 14080 S.W. 20th Ave. Road, in Ocala. For details, call (973) 460-5936 or Raj Kamdar at (352) 568-5729.

India Association of Ocala will celebrate Diwali on Nov. 14. For details, email or visit


Shirdi Sai Florida Center, 4707 S. Pleasant Grove Road, Inverness, will hold a Dhanteras Pooja at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 10. Diwali-Chopda Puja will be at 6:30 pm. Nov. 12 and New Year special puja at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 13. For information, call (352) 860-2181.


Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida will celebrate Diwali at 6 p.m. on Nov. 8 at Bartow Civic Center, 2250 S. Floral Ave., Bartow. Tickets are $35 per person. For more information, call Subhash S. Patel at (863) 648-0294 or visit


Indian Student Association of University of Florida will hold its Diwali show on Nov. 15 at Curtis M. Phillips Center, 3201 Hull Road, Gainesville. Doors open at 6 and show starts promptly at 6:30. For more information or to sign up to perform, contact Yash Patel at (863)-604-4926 or email

Gujarati Samaj of Gatorland will hold a Diwali Night from 4 p.m. to midnight on Nov. 14 at Senior Recreation Center, 5701 N.W. 34th St., Gainesville. For more details, email


India Association of Fort Myers will celebrate Diwali from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Nov. 7 at Harborside Event Center, 1375 Monroe St., Fort Myers. For information, call (941) 628-6295, email or visit


Manav Mandir will celebrate Dhanteras on Nov. 9, Diwali/Lakshmi Puja on Nov. 11, and Ankut the next day. The temple is at 7400 Waelti Drive, Melbourne. For information, (321) 426-0668, email or visit


India Association of Daytona Beach will hold its Diwali celebration from 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, at Hilton Daytona Beach Resort (South Tower), 100 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach. A musical group from India will present entertainment. Tickets are $50 for non-members 13 years of age and up and $30 for 5 to 12 years of age. For information and tickets, email


Gujarati Samaj of North East Florida will celebrate Diwali on Saturday, Nov. 7, at Morocco Shine Center Auditorium, 3800 Saint Johns Bluff Road S., Jacksonville. Doors open at 3:30 with entertainment from 5 followed by dinner (catered by Khasiyat of Orlando) and dancing (DJ Krishan). For tickets and other information, call Bakulesh Patel at (904) 813-9616, Bipin Patel at (904) 260-7675, e-mail or visit



Breathe the fragrance of India on Nov. 7 as you stroll through more than booths offering clothes, jewelry, film DVDs and music CDs, arts and crafts, photo studio and home décor at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. There also will be numerous eateries selling delicacies such as samosas, bhel puri, chicken curry and dosas. A health fair/awareness program is also on the daylong itinerary.

In the entertainment area, performers will be adorned in colorful attire for four categories of dance competition – garba, raas, folk and bhangra. Several closed-circuit TV monitors will be set up so people can shop and eat while watching the dances.


Chairman Dr. C.J. Patel

“More than 12,000 people are expected to attend the 28th annual India Festival,” said Chairman Dr. C.J. Patel. “This year, we are giving away 500 free tickets to Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco county schools so they can encourage kids to visit our event. Also, for backstage and other behind-the-scene activities, we are urging younger children to take an active role.”

The theme for the 2015 India Festival is “Unity through dance.” Indian dances have a distinct character that reflects the great culture and traditional endeavor, said Patel. “It brings us together in the form of unity. We live in a highly globalized world today, and although we are more connected than ever, the festival takes one aspect of culture, dance, as a way to promote cross-cultural understanding. Dance helps our children learn more about our community's values and experiences.”

Indian-American communities in such far places as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Gainesville and Ocala among others will be participating in dozens of competitions. And several local dignitaries and city/county officials will be gracing the celebrations.

India Festival will begin from 11 a.m. at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. Tickets are $9 for adults; $5 for children 3 to 10 years of age. For information, call C.J. Patel at (813) 787-9656, email or visit

More Leading News

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Inaugural Tampa Bay Akshaya Patra Raises $150,000
More than 350 people attended an inaugural Tampa Bay Benefit Gala organized by the Akshaya Patra Foundation on Sept. 25.


A majority of Indians who live in the United States and send money home say they are overqualified for their jobs here and find their U.S. workplace to be less stressful than workplaces in India.


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