JULY 2011
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Feature Story

ANNUAL RATH YATRA TO STROLL INTO TAMPA JULY 10

By NITISH S. RELE

The annual Tampa Bay Rath Yatra (The Festival of Chariots and Dharma Sammelan) will be held Sunday, July 10, at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. The festival will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the agenda are bhajans, pooja, Rath Yatra, mahaprasad and a cultural program.

Keynote speaker will be Braham Agarwal of Orlando. U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor has been invited as the chief guest.

In India, the holy town of Puri, Orissa, home of the Lord of the Universe, Jagannath, celebrates this festival. The temple of Jagannath, also known as Krishna, in Puri is one of India’s major pilgrimage sites. The Festival of Chariots signifies Lord Jagannath’s journey from the forest into the hearts of people.

Among the co-sponsors are Hindu Temple of Florida, Federation of Indian Associations of Tampa Bay, Alachua Hare Krishna Temple, Florida Oriya Association, Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay, Golden Age - Seniors Club of GSTB, Radio Asia, Sanatan Mandir and Khaas Baat.

For sponsorship and aarti puja or more information, call Satish K. Sharma at (813) 877-2192, Rashmi Jakhotia at (813) 962-4172 or Kiron Senapati at (813) 340-2324.

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News

INDIAN AMERICANS IN FLORIDA – 128,735 …
AND COUNTING … AND GROWING!

By NITISH S. RELE

According to the U.S. 2000 Census Bureau data, the Indian American population in Florida was 70,740. And now 10 years later, the number has grown to 128,735, which is an 82 percent increase. Other Southern states with more than 80 percent boost in their Indian American populations are South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. Indians also make up the largest Asian group in the Sunshine State.

The Miami, Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach area has the largest Indian American metropolitan population at 41,334, which is 0.7 percent of the people in the total metropolitan area (14th in the United States).

Orlando, Kissimmee-Sanford ranks second in Florida with 26,105 Indian Americans, which is 1.2 percent of the total metropolitan area (19th in the country).

Coming in third is Tampa-St. Petersburg, Clearwater with 23,526 Indian Americans, which is 0.8 percent of the total metropolitan area (23rd in the country).

In Georgia, Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta ranks 10th in the nation with an Indian American population of 78,980, which is 1.5 percent of the total metropolitan area.

California tops the nation with 528,176 Indian Americans followed by 313,620 in New York, 292,256 in New Jersey, 245,981 in Texas, 188,328 in Illinois and then Florida.


3RD MATIYA WORLD CONVENTION JULY 22-24 IN ORLANDO

By SHEPHALI J. RELE

More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the third Matiya World Convention will be July 22-24 in Orlando. The theme is “Giving Back” Dil Se. On the agenda are breakout sessions on insurance, immigration, health, etc., keynote speakers, gala dinner, which includes raffle, awards, fundraiser, live music and dance, raas/garba with live band, youth and senior programs, talent show, vendor exhibits and a cruise.

“Our cultural and family values are priceless and we must ensure that we pass them along to our future generations,” said Matiya World President Tushar Patel. “The Matiya convention will provide an opportunity to expose many of our youths to our culture, our way of life, and our values. It will provide them the forum to express their needs and to make new friends who have similar issues and expectations.”

The previous Matiya World conventions were in Anaheim, Calif. (2007) and Dallas, Texas (2009). The three-day convention in Florida will be at Wyndham Orlando Resort, 8001 International Drive.

For more information, call Kiran Patel at (407) 797-1000, Rakesh Bhula at (727) 858-8888 or e-mail info@matiyaworld.com Also, register at www.matiyaworld.com.


ORLANDO Metaphysical Artist Creates a Consciousness Shift with Visual Art

Story provided by Shobana Daniell

Vipin Mehta, an Orlando-based businessman, recently opened a spiritual center with a Metaphysical art gallery to display his artworks, which explore spiritual and metaphysical insights into global healing, harmony and peace and self-growth. On June 11, about 40 invited guests attended the opening ceremony at the Winter Park center and were given a guided tour of the artworks by Mehta; it was followed by an open forum of the metaphysical nature of the art and ended with a dinner arranged by Hansa Mehta.

The inspiration for this art and spiritual center for Mehta lays in his interest in philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, poetry of Tagore, self-realized J. Krishnamurthy, and mystic Rajneesh. He said, “Modern mystics in America helped me to take a quantum leap into the new age spirituality.  These spiritual friends inspired me to open the Mehta Spiritual Center to share the traditional to new age spirituality.”

Mehta said 9/11 was a turning point in life when he began a quest for a path for global healing and says his son Rave encouraged him to write the “Global Healing” trilogy (“Thinking Outside the Box,” “Awakening Spirituality” and “New Vistas of Hope”).  That led to creating the artworks to illuminate the metaphysical principles in his books.  Mehta defines “Metaphysics as the knowledge of human mind in its totality. It is also the knowledge of ‘How to Change the Mindset from Negative to Positive’ and ‘Consciously Creating Reality.’ ”

This spiritual art gallery has more than 80 artworks – almost like multimedia – based on diagrams, text, brush strokes, vibrant colors and new age images. The descriptions, which accompany the art, offer new ideas and an understanding of the dynamic process of the human mind.

For more information, call (407) 657-6662.

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