Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Happy India Independence Day

Florida communities celebrating the patriotic occasion include:


The Federation of Indian Associations of Tampa Bay (FIA of Tampa Bay) will celebrate India Independence Day on Sunday, Aug. 18, at the India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road. The activities begin at 9 a.m. with rangoli, cooking, kids fancy dress, youth art, debate, filmmaking and essay competitions, and for the first time, a Poetry Slam session. Outstanding 2019 high school graduates will also be recognized. Several cultural exhibits will be on display and flag hoisting will be at 1:30 p.m. followed by a cultural talent show. The highlight is the Voice of FIA where Tampa's local talent will compete for the top spot. As part of the celebrations, a carom board tournament will be held on Aug. 10 and a table tennis tournament on Aug. 3 in Temple Terrace. For information, call FIA President Vijay Prakash Changa at (813) 486-1912 or Event Chair Kamakshi Shete at (813) 817-5602.


The Association of Indians in America (AIA) South Florida chapter will hold India Independence Day celebrations from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. On the agenda is cultural entertainment of music and dance (from 1 p.m.), Indian food and fashion. For details, email [email protected] or visit

And the Palm Beach India Association will hold its India Independence Day celebration on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 7 p.m. at Forrest Hill High School, 6901 Parker Ave., West Palm beach. Entry is free for all-include members; $10 for annual members and $20 non-members. To showcase a cultural performance, email [email protected] or visit


Hindu Society of Central Florida and New Age Group will celebrate India’s Independence Day on Sunday, Aug. 11, from noon to 2 p.m. at 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry. Admission is free with RSVP by Aug. 7 to [email protected] Highlights include a children’s parade, patriotic songs and dances, and a ‘Jai Ho’ Fancy Dress competition. For information, call Dr. Srinivas Seela at (407) 276-5407 or visit

Also, the Gujarati Society of Central Florida will celebrate India Independence Day with cultural dances, Unity Walk, music, food stalls and fashion show on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 3 to 10:30 p.m. at Cranes Roost Park, 274 Cranes Roost Blvd., Altamonte Springs. Entry is free. For information, call Prashant Saoji at (321) 460-0800 or visit


The Bhartiya Samaj of Central Florida will hold Independence Day and picnic at 11 a.m. Aug. 18 at Mary Holland Park, 2015 Shumate Drive, Bartow. Cost per person is $25. For more information, call Subhash S. Patel at (863) 648-0294 or visit


The Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville will celebrate India’s Independence Day 3 p.m. onward on Sunday, Aug. 18, at UNF, Robinson Theatre, 1 UNF Drive. Activities include group cultural performances, dance, skits and group singing, flag hoisting, India Quiz, sports and public speaking awards, a cultural showcase highlighting Indian states, and dinner. For details, email [email protected] or visit


India Cultural and Education Center (ICEC) Youth Group will celebrate India's Independence Day at 6 on Saturday, Aug. 17, at Kanapaha Middle School cafeteria (food will be served followed by cultural program), 5005 S.W. 75th St., Gainesville. For details, call (352) 379-2911 or visit


India Association Fort Myers will hold an Independence Day dinner from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at Spice Club Indian Grill, 18011 S. Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers. The event is free for members and $20 for non-member adults and $10 for non-members kids (age 5 to 12). For information, call Harshad Bhatt at (239) 994-0547.


India Association of Naples will celebrate Independence Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (flag hoisting, cultural programs) on Saturday, Aug. 17, at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway, Naples. Cost is $10 per family for members; non-members pay $10 per adult and $5 for kids. For details, email [email protected]


India Association of Tallahassee (IATLH) will hold its annual Utsav/India Day from 4 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 17 at Lincoln High School, 3838 Trojan Trail. The free event is to celebrate India's Independence Day and promote the rich cultural heritage of India through talents by community members. For details, e-mail [email protected] or visit

Khaas Bat celebrates its 15-year anniversary


This month, Khaas Bat celebrates its 15-year anniversary. We want to acknowledge and thank our dedicated volunteer columnists, past and present for their invaluable contributions, and well-wishers for their help and encouragement. And, of course, a publication cannot survive without support from advertisers.

We urge ardent readers of Khaas Baat, who pick up their copy from the grocery store/restaurant, to take out an annual or five-year subscription for home or office delivery of the newspaper. Ken and Katy Kotecha have been subscribers for over a decade now. “We moved to Tampa in 1994,” says the couple. “We soon noticed that there was no way we could find what was going on among the Indian community, without talking to people ‘in the know’ or perusing notices at Indian stores or restaurants. Then we saw one of the first issues of Khaas Baat. It listed events taking place in greater Tampa regardless of which group or organization was sponsoring them. An excellent solution to our problem. We were hooked. We called Nitish and subscribed to it, perhaps one of the first few paid subscribers.”

Credit also goes to community leaders across Florida for keeping us informed about events happening in their town. Sometimes, we hear about news and events too late. We request community leaders and organizers when planning activities to note our monthly deadline, the 20th of every month for the following month’s issue. We hope we have made a difference with our coverage of community events. We request regular readers to share Khaas Baat with your Florida friends. As always, we welcome suggestions and ideas on how we can better serve the Indian American community in Florida.

Khaas Baat is proud to be the ONE AND ONLY Sunshine State publication to offer comprehensive coverage of happenings in your Florida Indian community. Do follow us on twitter @khaasbaat and join us on Facebook for details about late-breaking events.

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