Florida communities celebrating the festival of nine nights include:
The Gujarati Society of Central Florida will hold Garba from 9 p.m. on Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27 at Lyman High School, 865 S. Ronald Reagan Blvd., Longwood. It is free for society members. Non-members pay $25 per person per day. For information, call Nilkanth Kapadia at (407) 832-3835, Sunil Patel at (407) 474-4773, Sunil Panchal at (386) 479-3055, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.gujaratisocietycfl.com
Also, the Hindu Society of Central Florida (HSCF) temple will present Navratri Ustav and garba with live band every from Oct. 16-23 in the community hall, 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry. Snacks will be available at the canteen stall. Dussehra celebration will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 27. For more information, call the temple at (407) 699-5277, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hindutempleorlando.org
Garba at the Shree Jalaram Mandir starts from 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 and continues daily. Dussera Havan will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24. The temple is at 600 Hull Island Drive, Oakland. For information, call (407) 369-4006 or visit www.jalarammandirorlando.org
And Maa Durga Sri Sai Baba Temple will present Navratri Garba & Raas from 8 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Oct. 19-20 at JCC Hall, 11184 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando, which is in close vicinity to the temple. Performing will be Babra Music Party. Entrance is free. For information, call (407) 574-8044, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.durgasaitemple.org
The Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay will celebrate Navratri on Oct. 12-13 (Babra and Party group), Oct. 19-20 (Star Group from Bombay) and Oct. 26-27 (Melody Group from Baroda) at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 N. U.S. 301, Tampa. The 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. event is free for Samaj members. Non-members pay $15 per night and students pay $10 per night. For more information, call Samaj President Chetan Shah at (727) 688-6149 or visit www.gujaratisamaj.org
Navratri begins from Oct. 15 at the Hindu Temple of Florida, 5509 Lynn Road, Tampa. For timings and other details, call (813) 962-6890.
The Sanatan Mandir at 311 E. Palm Ave., Tampa, will celebrate Navratri from Oct. 16-23. During the Ram Lila and Ravan Dahan, to be held from 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 27, there will be an Anand Mela, food booths and games for children. For details, call the temple at (813) 221-4482.
Also, SOIKOT (Bengali Society of Tampa Bay) will hold Durga Puja on Oct. 20-21 at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. The two-day program includes puja, anjali, bhog, cultural program (including gaan, naach and many more from local artists), aroti, adda, dinner and wrap-up followed by next day lunch and more. Renowned Bengali singer Lopamudra Mitra from Kolkata will perform on Oct. 21. Also performing is Apaar Bangla, an upcoming Bengali band from USA. Tickets are: $180 for family, $100 for individual, $50 full-time student and $90 for student family. Lakshmi Puja will be held on Oct. 27 at Arbor Greene Community Center in Tampa. For more information, call Jyotirmoy Sarkar at (813) 971-0564, Raja Sarker at (813) 994-5834, e-mail Soikot_florida@yahoo.com or visit www.soikot.org
Ambaji Mandir at 10991 58th St., in Pinellas Park, will celebrate Navratri with daily garba program and Prasad from 6 p.m. Oct. 16-24. For more information, call the Mandir at (727) 388-6685, (727) 537-9445 or visit www.ambajimandir.org
And Vishnu Mandir in Tampa will celebrate Navratri from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 16-23. Kanya Kumari Puja will be from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 22. The temple is at 5803 Lynn Road. For information, call Dr. Sadhana Ramcharran at (727) 798-4258 or MJ Jaimangal at (727) 946-8144.
PEMBROKE PINES: The Indian Religious & Cultural Center (IRCC) and South Florida Leuva Patidar Samaj will celebrate Navratri 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 27 at Coral Springs Charter School Gymnasium, 3025 N. University Drive, Coral Springs (southeast corner of Sample and University drives). Attendees are urged to note that this is a new location for Navratri from previous years. Advance tickets are $25 for three days or $10 per day at gate; senior is $5 per day. For other information, call (954) 543-1539, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.irccflorida.com
SUNRISE: The Bengali Association of South Florida is organizing Durga Pujo Oct. 20 at Westpine Middle School, 9393 N.W. 50th St. (just south of Commercial Boulevard near the Sawgrass Expressway). The puja starts at 11 a.m. followed by kids sit and draw, Anjali/bhog distribution, lunch, cultural program and dinner. For details, call (954) 450-3988, (561) 634-0097, email email@example.com or visit www.basfl.org
SOUTH FLORIDA AREA: The Chinmaya Mission Miami will hold Navratri celebrations at various locations during its Chinmaya Bala Vihar Prayer Assembly. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cmmiami.org
The Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida will celebrate Navratri on Oct. 12-13, Oct. 19-20, and Oct. 26-27, at Bartow Civic Center, 2250 S. Floral Ave., Bartow. For more information, call Himanshu J. Patadia at (863) 519-0777, Subhash S. Patel at (863) 648-0294 or visit www.bscfl.com
The Shri Swaminarayan Temple (ISSO) at 2793 New Tampa Highway, Lakeland, will hold Dashera and Maharajshri Janmotsav on Oct. 24. For details, call (863) 687-4776, (863) 529-1146 or visit www.swaminarayanfl.com
The Gujarati Samaj of North East Florida will celebrate Navratri from 7:30 p.m. till 11:30 p.m. Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27 at Bolles School, San Jose Campus, at 7400 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville. For information, call Bakulesh Patel at (904) 813-9616, Bipin Patel at (904) 260-7675, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.gsnef.org
The Bengali Association of North Florida will hold Durga Utsav & Cultural Fest 2012 on Oct. 27-28 in the Multipurpose Room at the Hindu Society of North East Florida, 4968 Greenland Road, Jacksonville. For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.jaxbengali.org
DAYTONA BEACH/ORMOND BEACH
The Indian Cultural Society of Daytona will hold Garba/Dandiya Raas 7 to 11:30 p.m. Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27 at South Ormond Neighborhood Center, 176 Division Ave., Ormond Beach. Tickets are $5 for non-members. For more information, call President Rita Patel at (386) 795-0008 or visit www.icsdaytona.com
The Indian Association of the Space Coast will hold Navratri celebrations from 7 to midnight Oct. 13, Oct. 20 and Oct. 27 at Viera High School, 6103 Stadium Parkway, Viera (incorporated part of Melbourne area). Adult tickets are $5 for members, $20 for non-members. For more information, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.iascbrevard.com
The Hindu Temple of Southwest Florida, 12552 Plantation Road, Fort Myers, will hold Navratri celebrations with daily prayers from Oct. 16. For details, call Rakesh Patel at (941) 487-0093, Vittal Prabhu at (239) 768-2678 or visit www.hindutempleswfl.com
Elections are right around the corner and the frenzy has all of us in a complete tizzy. Depending on who you listen to, you will get two completely opposing views of our country.
TAMPA INDIA FESTIVAL MARKS SILVER JUBILEE NOV. 2-3
India Festival in Tampa will celebrate its 25-year anniversary Friday, Nov. 2, and Saturday, Nov. 3, at Florida State Fairgrounds. Started in 1988, “we had no idea that we would be celebrating its silver jubilee in 2012,” said festival Chairman Pradip C. Patel. “Dr. Kiran C. Patel’s vision was to have an annual event that would help to build an India Cultural Center. Now, attendance has grown to more than 10,000 people.” The annual event is organized by the Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay.
This being the 25th-year anniversary, the festival will be held for two days. On Friday, “Lamhe” and “Sensations” musical concerts will be presented from 6 p.m. to midnight. Also, an InFusion Bollywood Dance Competition will take place from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. for ages 13 and older. “Jhalak Dikhla Jaa” TV show choreographers Jasmin Oza and Karishma Zaveri will hold free initial auditions from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 at India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road, in Tampa. Winners will be choreographed by the professionals to participate in the InFusion competition, which also will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3. For information on InFusion, call Niti Shah at (310) 729-6484 or Smita Patel at (813) 334-7279.
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 garba, raas, folk and dance competitions throughout the day. Besides local dignitaries and city/county officials gracing the celebrations, performers include film personalities Mona Singh and Pooja Batra, and comedian Dan Nainan and anchor Bhimsingh Kotal will be in attendance.
Also a first is a 20-over night cricket match Saturday night from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on the grounds of the state fairgrounds. Players will be selected from the over-40 cricket teams in the Tampa Bay area.
More than 100 booths will offer food, clothes, jewelry, film DVDs and CDs, arts and crafts, photo studio and home décor at the event. “The booths are already sold out and we have a much greater sponsorship participation,” said Patel. “We will have a health care screening both also.”
Also, India Festival is sponsoring a Food Drive by partnering with Feeding America Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough County Sheriff Charities. Attendees are requested to bring canned food items to the fairgrounds on either day. Receiving surplus food donations from growers, manufacturers, supermarkets and organized community food drives, Feeding America Tampa Bay distributes food to the needy through its distribution to a partnership network of more than 600 faith-based and other incorporated non-profit organizations.
On Nov. 2, the festival will begin from 6 p.m. and the next day, from 11 a.m. at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa. Tickets are $15 (includes Friday parking) for a two-day pass or $8 for Saturday only (Saturday parking is $5 per vehicle). The two-day ticket will be sold on the India Festival Web site starting from Oct. 5. Saturday-only passes will be sold at the venue or on the Web site.
For more information, call festival Chairman Pradip C. Patel at (813) 785-2736, Samaj President Chetan Shah at (727) 688-6149, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.indiafestivaltampa.com
KUCHIPUDI DANCER TO PERFORM AT OCT. 11-13 IN SARASOTA
Paris-based and Madras-born Kuchipudi dancer Shantala Shivalingappa will perform Oct. 11-13 during the Ringling International Arts Festival in Sarasota. Presented annually since 2009, the Ringling International Arts Festival is produced under the artistic direction of the Baryshnikov Arts Center with Sarasota's The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
Shivalingappa has established a large following, attracted to her sensual flowing lines and deft intricate footwork in Kuchipudi. Recently, while on tour she has received standing ovations from audiences in Paris, London and New York.
She grew up in a world filled with dance and music, initiated at a tender age by her mother, dancer Savitry Nair. Deeply moved and inspired by Master Vempati Chinna Satyam's pure and graceful style, she dedicated herself to Kuchipudi, and received an intense and rigorous training from her master. Driven by a deep desire to bring Kuchipudi to the western audience, she has performed in important festivals and theatres.
Acclaimed as a rare dancer by artists and connoisseurs the world over, the emerging dance phenom (www.shantalashivalingappa.com) combines a perfect technique with flowing grace and a very fine sensitivity with her performance of “Shiva Ganga.”
Shivalingappa will present a one-hour performance is 60 minutes at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, and Saturday, Oct. 13, in the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Tickets are $25, $35 and $45. For information, call (941) 360-7399 or visit www.ringlingartsfestival.org/2012
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