IAGB India Day CelebrationsSAARANG, an extraordinary Indian fusion band, will be playing at this year’s India Day celebrations. The event will take place at the iconic Hatch Memorial Shell on Aug. 19th, 2023. Saarang’s performance is a truly captivating and unique musical experience. They take their listeners on a mesmerizing journey that transcends borders and unites diverse musical traditions. Indian classical, folk melodies and rhythms blended with elements of Jazz, Rock, and world music. An ensemble of Tabla and Drums, Guitar and Khanjira, Violin and Piano, supported with Bass, enhancing the vocals.. It will be an experience not to miss! See you there at Hatch Shell on Aug 19th!!
Inviting Contributions for India Day Magazine
This year’s IAGB India Day event will be celebrating the unique trailblazing qualities of our Indian American community. We are presenting you this opportunity to highlight these qualities or the people exemplifying these qualities by contributing to our annual magazine in the following ways:
Short essay (up to 500 words) about the person from Indian American community who has made the biggest impact on your life – family, a friend, or a person from the larger Indian American community
Poem cherishing a thought, a person, or an event you think best exemplifies the quintessential Indian-Americanness
Small write-up (up to 300 words) about a particular aspect of your ethnic identity that you’ve been able to utilize to blend into the larger American community
Please submit your entries and/or questions to Kaumudee Valimbe –email@example.com
The deadline to submit your entries is July 15th, 2023.
July 4th is always a great reminder of our intertwined identity – Indian and American. We IAGBians look at ourselves as the stewards of our community. Hence, we are taking this opportunity to express our thoughts on the inherent qualities of our Indian American community:
To me being Indian-American means celebrating Thanksgiving with the same spirit as Diwali; and rejoicing on July 4th as well as on Aug 15th. It also means trying to integrate into American society, fighting for some of the rights that have been threatened with the recent political turmoil. While we will always be impacted by events in India, the decisions and events happening in America have a much larger impact on our day-to-day life. It also means ensuring our children have some Indian roots and values but letting them live their lives as mainstream Americans. It’s the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave’ after all!
To me being an Indian-American means adapting to American culture without sacrificing my Indian identity. It’s important that my children get to know about their rich background and culture. This thought has always made me a part of the Indian community, and I make an effort to support both Indian culture and Indian-American values by participating in organizations such as IAGB, Shishu Bharati, and Hindi Manch. It makes me happy to see our Indian culture taking its own roots in this land.
I am the one who was embraced by my adopted country, as is, the broken me. I am the one who was given the warm embrace to heal my soul and gain the strength to mold myself and find the new me; I am the one who was empowered to rise from the ashes; I am the one who was given her dues of hard work and honesty; I am the one who wasn’t judged or stereotyped; I am the one who was taught to love people of all kinds; I am the one who was given the free will to leave the well and swim in the ocean; I am the one who was lauded for her strong roots of the country of her birth and strong branches of her adopted country; I am the one who was given wings to fly high soaring the sky but not to let sky be the limit… in nutshell, I AM A PROUD INDIAN AMERICAN. Living in my home of the brave, in the land of the free. And that’s what makes me, ME!
Being an Indian-American is a multifaceted experience, encompassing the richness of Indian culture and the opportunities and challenges of living in America. It means honoring and preserving the traditions, values, and beliefs passed down from Indian ancestors while embracing the American ideals of diversity, freedom, and pursuit of dreams. Indian-Americans contribute to the tapestry of American society, bringing their unique heritage, talents, and perspectives to create a harmonious blend of cultures. Being an Indian-American is a source of pride, a bridge between two worlds, and a constant reminder of the strength and resilience that comes from embracing one’s dual identity.
The Indian American community has come a long way in its journey of settling down in the USA. From being migrant manual laborers to being considered the model minority. Albeit, this journey has taken many ups and downs. The community is anything but monolithic and embraces an eclectic mix of diverse characters. Without doubt our social, economic, and political influence has grown. The open question is how we decide to deploy this influence.
Mr. Ramesh Vishwanath Kapur, the founder and president of the US India Security Council, answered this question for himself a long time ago. And his answer is, ‘by getting involved within the mainstream American community and claiming a rightful seat at the table’ for our community members. That is what he has been working on in a bipartisan way for more than three decades. He has seen the community flourish in various fields such as medicine, technology, education, business, and entrepreneurship. He knows that the leaders in these fields have become the opinion makers in this country. And is proud of the fact that now there are five Indian American representatives in the US Congress and the Vice President of the USA is an Indian American too!
At grass roots level Mr. Kapur has witnessed the community’s engagement priorities evolve as the younger generations’ participation has increased. Though faithful citizens and residents of this country, he has seen earlier immigrant generations focused on India-centric causes. With the fresh outlook of the younger generations, the Indian American community is getting engaged with more global issues and he thinks that is the way to go. He appeals that Indian Americans should really get involved with mainstream American charities and be the digital equalizer within our local communities. That way everyday Americans will get to know and appreciate the Indian Americans more. Running for office and getting elected at larger numbers will not be a mystery then. He is aware that not everyone can do this. As a Gandhi believer, his suggestion for everyone is to carve a little time out from the busy life for the larger community and get involved at least on a small scale.
His own journey exemplifies the values he espouses. As an immigrant to the USA, he started increasing his community engagement early on. With a community focused upbringing he received from his parents, Mr. Kapur knew the inspiration one can get from that activity. The organizations he worked with or helped found have been instrumental in developing strong US – India relations. He has been crucial in many highly publicized developments in this growing relationship. And had many opportunities to rub shoulders with the most powerful personalities in both the countries. Yet what he appreciates most is the respect and support he received from his community.
The Indian American story as well as the American story is ever evolving. How can we bring some difference to the larger narrative with our inherent diverse roots? Mr. Ramesh Kapur’s answer is clear and helpful. We thank him for that!