APRIL 2015
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


By NITISH S. RELE, [email protected]

It’s the annual India Festival season. Here are some of the celebrations being held in the Sunshine State:

Melbourne India FestivalMELBOURNE

Manav Mandir will present its annual Indiafest 2015 on Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8, at Wickham Pavilion, 3845 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne. There will be cultural and fashion shows, arts and crafts, Indian cooking demo, food, etc. The theme is “Made In India” highlighted at the Discover India booth, featuring hands-on displays of products and technology that India has contributed to the world. Timings are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 12 and under and kids younger than 5 years are free. For information, call Yasmin Majeed at (321) 720-8590, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.indiafestbrevard.org

Gainsville India FestivalGAINESVILLE

The 16th annual India Fest & Health Fair 2015 takes place on Saturday, March 28, at Santa Fe Community College, Gymnasium (Building V), 3000 N.W. 83rd St., Gainesville. It is presented by the India Cultural & Education Center. Health fair will be 9 a.m. to noon and the festival featuring Indian food, dance, art, music, jewelry, clothing, henna, etc., will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5; kids younger than 5 years are free. For information, call (352) 275-2276, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.icec-florida.org

Orlando India FestivalORLANDO

The Hindu Society of Central Florida will hold its annual Festival of India on Saturday, March 28, on temple grounds, and the cultural program in the air-conditioned community hall. Admission is free with a $5 parking fee. The event, featuring booths for clothes, henna, jewelry and plenty of food, will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at HSCF Hindu Temple, 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry. To reserve a stall/booth or register for cultural programs, visit www.hindutempleorlando.org, then click on MyHSCF Booking on left. For questions, call the mandir at (407) 699-5277 or Prashant Saoji at (321) 460-0800.

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Holi Florida


MARCH 1: RAJASTHANI HOLI PICNIC; for time, venue and other details, call Rashmi Jakhotia at (813) 962-4172.

MARCH 4 AND MARCH 8: PHAGWAH CELEBRATIONS; Holika burning at 6:30 p.m. on March 4; Phagwah celebrations on March 8 at 12:30 p.m.; Shri Saraswati Devi Mandir, 16220 Livingston Ave., Tampa; for information, call Prem Pooram at (813) 968-3504 or Raj Singh at (727) 709-8354.

MARCH 4 AND MARCH 7: HOLI; Holika Dahan at 7 p.m. on March 4; Holi or Phagwah celebrations at 2 p.m. on March 7; Shree Raam Mandir, 7411 E. Comanche Ave., Tampa; for information, call Nick Ramlal at (813) 334-0443 or e-mail [email protected]

MARCH 5: HOLIKA; 6 p.m.; organized by Ambaji Mandir of Tampa Bay, 10991 58th St., Pinellas Park; for details, call the mandir at (727) 388-6685, email [email protected] or visit www.ambajimandir.org

MARCH 7: HOLI MELA; starts at 5 p.m.; Sanatan Mandir, 311 E. Palm Ave., Tampa; for information, call (813) 221-4482.

MARCH 7: RANGPANCHAMI CELEBRATION; organized by Maayboli Melawa Tampa Bay (MMTB); for information, visit www.mmtbusa.org/

MARCH 8: HOLI; organized by Gujarati Samaj of Tampa Bay; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Florida State Fairgrounds, 4800 U.S. 301 N., Tampa (MLK Boulevard entrance); natural colors available for purchase; free to GSTB members, non-member $15, seniors $10; fee includes snacks and lunch; nominal parking fees; for information, call Jigisha Desai at (813) 731-7747 or Sudhir Shah at (727) 686-7424.


MARCH 4: HOLI; organized by the Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida; Mary Holland Park, North Broadway Ave., Bartow; 7 p.m. onward; $25; for information, call Vinoobhai Patel at (863) 293-0942 or visit www.bscfl.com

MARCH 7: LET’S PLAY HOLI; presented by Lil Buddy’s West Indian Store; 2 p.m.; 123 Ridge Center Drive, Davenport; for information, call (407) 350-8231.


MARCH 8: HOLI PICNIC; organized by India Association Cultural & Educational Center; for details, call Samuel Patidar at (352) 873-4519, email [email protected] or visit www.indiaocala.org


MARCH 4: HOLIKA DAHAN; 7 to 8 p.m.; Maa Durga Sri Sai Baba Temple, 11414 S Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando; for information, call (407) 574-8044 or visit www.durgasaitemple.org

MARCH 5: HOLI FESTIVAL; organized by the Hindu Society of Central Florida; Holi bonfire will be set up on temple grounds and traditional ceremony from 6:30 p.m.; Holi puja items will be available for purchase; HSCF Hindu Temple, 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry; for information, call Mahesh Kapadia at (407) 902-8634 or e-mail [email protected]

MARCH 7: HOLI; organized by Indian Cultural Society of Orlando; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Gemini Springs Park, 37 Dirksen Drive, Debary; free; for information, call (407) 603-1333 or email [email protected]

MARCH 8: DHULETI; organized by Gujarati Society of Central Florida; starts at 11 a.m.; Bill Frederick at Turkey Lake Park, 3401 S. Hiawassee Road, Orlando; for information, visit www.gujaratisocietycfl.com

MARCH 8: HOLI CELEBRATION; 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Shri Shiv Dham Hindu Temple and Yogashram, 460 O’Berry Hoover Road, Orlando; for information, call (407) 380-2661, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.shivtemple.net

March 8: HOLI 2015; organized by Indian Horizon of Central Florida and Lotus Group Insurance; Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake Park, 3401 S. Hiawassee Road, Orlando; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; free; $10 parking; for information, call Hari Singh at (321) 662-1887.


APRIL 4: HOLI FESTIVAL OF COLORS; 3 to 7 p.m.; Alachua Hare Krishna Temple, 17306 NW 112th Blvd, Alachua; $10 adult admission; children younger than 5 years of age free; live music, food and lots of colors; for information, call (386) 462-2017 or visit www.festivalofcolorsfla.com


MARCH 8: HOLI ’15; organized by the India Association of the Space Coast (IASC); Fox Lake Park, 4400 Fox Lake Road, Titusville; 2 to 7 p.m.; for fee and other information, call (321) 288-7717, email [email protected] or visit www.iascbrevard.com


MARCH 7: HOLI CELEBRATIONS; organized by Indian Cultural Society of Daytona; Bethune Point Park, 101 Bellevue Ave., Daytona Beach; 2 to 5 p.m.; for information, call ICS President Sangeetha Bhoola at (386) 527-0855 or Vice President Rita Patel at (386) 795-0008 or visit www.icsdaytona.com


MARCH 5: HOLI CELEBRATIONS; Hindu Society of North East Florida temple, 4968 Greenland Road, Jacksonville; 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; for information, call the mandir at (904) 268-7630 or visit www.hsnef.org/


MARCH 8: HOLI PICNIC; organized by Indian Religious and Cultural Center (IRCC); C.B. Smith Park-Shelter No. 19, 900 N. Flamingo Road, Pembroke Pines; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; for pricing information, call (954) 543-1539, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.irccflorida.com


North South Foundation (www.northsouth.org) will be holding its educational contests in Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Gainesville in March and April. Held in the United States since 1993, the contests are designed to encourage excellence among Indian American children and prepare them to enter better colleges.

The contests are grouped into Junior, Intermediate or Senior levels for children from first- through 12th-grade. Conducted every year in two steps, children participate in Regional Contests at various locations throughout the country. Then students with high scores, based on a cut-off, advance to the National Finals.

Spelling, essay, math, vocabulary, geography, science and public speaking contests are offered. Registration fee details are available on the web site.

The Gainesville contests will be held March 14-15 at University of Florida, 200 Museum Road. (registration is closed). For information, call Latha Ganthi at (352) 222-9434 or e-mail [email protected]

The Fort Lauderdale contests will be held March 14-15 at Nova University - Carl DeSantis Building, 3301 College Ave. (registration is closed). For information, call Venkat Vadlamudi at (954) 558-6255 or e-mail [email protected]

Registration closes on April 11-12 for the Jacksonville contests, which will be April 25-26, at University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive. For more information, call Rajiv Gupta at (904) 349-3179 or e-mail [email protected]

Registration will close on March 28-29 for the Tampa contests, which will be April 11-12, at University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. For information, call Sampath Narayanan at (813) 973-7567 or e-mail [email protected]

Registration closes on April 11 for the Orlando contests, which will be held April 25-26 at University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd. For information, call Harinath Gandhi at (650) 587-3949 or email [email protected]

For details, visit www.northsouth.org

CALL 813-758-1786.
or write to

[email protected]
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