India’s 64th Independence Anniversary Celebration in Cerritos, California
Cerritos/Norwalk, CA August 13, 2011
Grand Marshal for Mela AMISHA PATEL
Two premier groups from Southern California region, Federation of Indo-American Associations of Southern California (FIA-SC) and United Federation of Indo-Americans of California (UFICA) jointly hosted two super programs for the Indo-American community on August 12 in Cerritos Center of Performing Arts (CCPA) in Cerritos, and on August 13 in Norwalk on Excelsior High School Ground.
August 13 was designated to celebrate India’s 64th Independence Day anniversary that actually falls on Monday August 15. Bollywood star Amisha Patel was invited to be the Grand Marshal of the function. Tonight’s function was the result of combined effort by two unique community groups in Southern California UFICA and FIA-SC. The festivities took place on Excelsior High School ground in Norwalk, CA. There were over 100 vendor booths including food booths that served popular delicious Indian food. One could see long lines of people waiting to buy their favorite food. At the peak of the function there were approximately eight to ten thousand people present on the ground.........
The cultural show put together by FIA’s Navin Gupta and UFICA’s Charu Miglani started on schedule at 6:20 pm with vocal Bhajans by Krishna Group. Show included classical dances such as Bharat Natyam, classical ODISSI, traditional dance, classical/contemporary fusion dance, Bollywood/Hollywood numbers, Rajasthani folk dance, Punjabi folk dance etc. The highlights were the popular Punjabi Bhangra by young Punjabi boys and girls coached by Daman Grewal and Ravi Grewal, rendition of “Rang de basanti chola by Gagandeep Sidhu, and the Michael Jackson impersonation by Omar Rajpute.
Grand Marshal Amisha Patel arrived in Limousine at 8:00 pm and was transferred to convertible Lexus loaned by our event sponsor Lexus Corp. She was taken around in the Mela in convertible car escorted by two Motorcycle cops from LA County Sheriff Dept and committee members of FIA and UFICA. People thronged on both sides of the car to take o closer look of their favorite movie star. Amisha smiled and waved the Indian flag while the car driven by Ajmer Singh former chairman of FIA moved slowly past the cheering fans. In the car Amisha was accompanied by the presidents of both groups Rajinder Dhunna and Vinita Vineet. At the end of the procession Amisha was escorted on to the stage along with committee members of both the groups and grand sponsors of the function. The function was hosted by Masters of Ceremonies Kewal Kanda and Pat Patnaik. Pat Patnaik introduced UFICA group members while Kewal Kanda introduced FIA committee members.
After the formal introduction the Grand Marshal escorted by both presidents and Chairmen lighted the traditional Lamp and hoisted the Indian flag. Sampoorna Dube and Aarti Garg recited the American National Anthem followed by Vande Matram by Dr. Rangaesh Gadasalli and Sampoorna Dube. After the flag hoisting Indian National anthem was sung by every member on the stage and in the audience. Presidents of both groups Rajinder Dhunna and Vinita Vineet spoke of the unity and thanked each other and their teams for the cooperation and hard work they displayed in putting together the function. They praised and thanked Grand Marshal for accepting their invitation to join in the festivities. Rajinder Dhunna encouraged the young generation to take part in American system and make their presence felt. Amisha Patel congratulated and praised the Indo-American community on celebrating the Independence Day of India. She then presented plaques to presidents, chairmen and the sponsors. Both presidents together presented a plaque to the Grand Marshal in appreciation of her participation in the function. Congressman Ed Royce was represented by his staff member Ryan Holmes who congratulated both the groups for working in unity and presented certificates of congressional Recognition to both the presidents. Function continued after the speeches with cultural show by young Indo-Americans till around 10:30 pm.
On August 12 in Cerritos Center of Performing Arts (CCPA) in Cerritos, California
FIA-SC and UFICA hosted a banquet night in honor of Bollywood Star Amisha Patel on Friday evening, August 12 in CCPA. The hall was full to the last seat before the guest of honor Miss Patel arrived around 9:00 pm. She was given a rousing welcome on her arrival. Evening began with a welcome from the Masters of Ceremony Kewal Kanda and Pat Patnaik. Kanda and Patnaik introduced Guest of honor, presidents of both groups Rajinder Dhunna (FIA-SC), Vinita Vineet (UFICA), and their spouses.
FIA-SC and UFICA hosted a banquet night in honor of Bollywood Star Amisha Patel on Friday evening, August 12 in CCPA---see photos
Both presidents welcomed and thanked Amisha Patel for taking time to come from India to take part in the festivities. Navin Gupta (FIA-SC) and Charu Miglani (UFICA) put together a short cultural show in honor of the chief guest. The highlight of the cultural show included a sentimental rendition of “Rang de basanti chola” by Gagandeep Sidhu and a beautiful dance on medley of Bollywood hit songs “Kajrare and Sheila ki jawani” by Hirangi Assar. A picture session was held with Amish Patel. Not all present in the hall could avail the picture opportunity with Amisha as she has to leave a little earlier for personal reasons. The night ended with a sumptuous dinner served by Ashoka the Great Restaurant.