^ City News
^ Events
^ Profile
^  Debate
^ Perspective
^ Monthly Calendar
^ Youth
^ Business
^ Immigration
^ Healthwise
^ InVogue
^ Fiction
^ Classifieds
^ Matrimonials
^ What's Cooking?
^ Melting Pot
^ Snapshots
^ A Day In The Life Of...
^ Family Portrait
^ Birthday Greetings
^ Baby Of The Fortnight
^ Model Mania
^ Kids Corner
 <<CityNews Main Send Flowers to India!

 We invite associations, organizations and clubs from cities around the US to send in press releases accompanied with high resolution photos for publication in City News. Contributions may be sent to

Send Gifts to India!

Annual Festival Of India A Big Draw For Community

Festival of India

Photos by Bytegraph

Atlanta, September 2012: The 16th annual Festival of India organized by India American Cultural Association (IACA) was celebrated in a new format this year. The two weekend event kicked off at the IACA facility in Smyrna on Saturday, August 19th and continued at the Gwinnett Center on Saturday, August 25th. The festival is held every year to celebrate India’s Independence Day.
As is the case every year, the event at Gwinnett Center was a major draw for people from all over Georgia and neighboring states. Close to 5000 people thronged the venue; shopping or browsing through the 75 vendor booths before making a beeline for the food court where several popular Atlanta Indian restaurants had set up stalls.

Festival of India

“People liked the new layout. The vendors were happy. The food lines were shorter because of (the presence of) three restaurants,” said IACA’s Chand Akkineni.

 The daylong event also included non-stop cultural events, a silent auction of airline tickets to India from IACA gold sponsors Air India and Delta, a bone marrow drive by Dr Gulshan Harjee and standup comedy by Tushar Singh. Various seminars were held through the day on hot button topics like diabetes, innovation, global giving, bridging the gap between 1st and 2nd generation Indian Americans, yoga etc.

Festival of India

Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle was the chief guest at the event, which was also graced by the presence of Consul General of India in Atlanta, Hon. Ajit Kumar.

In his keynote address, Lt. Gov Cagle said it was a great honor to be at the festival, and to celebrate Indian culture and American culture, adding that the two cultures create something unique and enriching.
“The future is very bright because of the people I have met today- people with great entrepreneurial spirit,” he added.

Festival of India

Consul General Ajit Kumar, who celebrated his first Festival of India in Atlanta this year also briefly, addressed the crowd.
“India is one of the fastest growing economies today, with a strong strategic relationship with the US,” he said, adding that the two countries have the same democratic and human values and the same (concept of) unity in diversity.

The Consul General offered a special salute to the Indian American community for propagating and strengthening Indian diplomacy through its soft power.

He also announced that the Indian consulate in Atlanta would open in a couple of months.

Festival of India

IACA president Kaushal Tripathi, in his address, said the FOI is a festival to honor the fastest growing community in the US, adding that it represents over 5000 years of glorious Indian culture.
He said, today, the FOI compares with the India Day parade in New York, adding jocularly; “it is even better because we do it with a touch of southern hospitality.”

Earlier, IACA chairperson, Padma Rallapalli welcomed the gathering to the festival and provided a brief overview of IACA’s significance and activities over the year.

August 19th Event: The kickoff event started with a prayer from the priest of Sanatan Mandir. Various cultural programs from regional organizations and individuals colored the day, with an exceptional topping of talent show. While many children participated in the talent show, the judges picked finalists to go to the next step of the competition that was conducted at the Gwinnett Center on August 25.
One of the highlights of the day was the flag hoisting and address by the chief guest Consul General Ajit Kumar. The Chief Guest was received with warmth and respect, true to the Indian customs with tilak and other items. National anthems were sung by a group of well over 200 people. The Consul General’s address was captivating with quotations from Upanishads and quotations from the opening remarks  by president of India, Pranab Mukherjee.
The health clinic session coordinated by Dr. Anuj Manocha with participation from other Indian American doctors was a huge run-away success. The topics were diverse, relevant and the presentations were outstanding. All the doctors who presented were deeply involved in their subject, were passionate about patient care and excellent in communicating. This easily is a "must repeat" concept in other events! 
The afternoon started with an outstanding presentation on "American Veda" by Philip Goldberg. It was very informative and at the same time entertaining. The audience was very participative and the Q&A session was an example of interactive sharing of thoughts.
There was ample food and drink organized by Sanatan Mandir and IACA, starting with sumptuous breakfast provided by Amma Kitchen; to tea to hot lunch to afternoon snacks.

Post Comment

Bookmark and Share  

Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved.