Community Conversations

“This month IAGB committee members express their views ahead of Independence Day.”

“The Fourth of July celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. July 4th is always celebrated with fireworks, ice cream, parades, and concerts. I think it is also a great way to spend a fun night with your friends and family!”

~Tanushree Nekenti, IAGB Youth Team Member

“To me, July 4th has always been a holiday and just that; it’s never held a particular significance or meaning for me. Naturally, I associate it with fireworks, barbecue and all of the other classic traditions, but perhaps above all, it’s a time to gather with friends and family.”

~Cynthia Raj, IAGB Youth Team President


“Growing up, the Fourth of July was always time for me to take in how grateful I am for being able to live in America. My family has a tradition of going to Boston every time to watch the fireworks in front of the Citgo sign in Boston. We haven’t missed a year of fireworks, even during Covid!”

~Anshika Shekhar, IAGB Youth Team Member

“When I was younger, I would always be excited on July 4th because I would get to dress up in bright red, white, and blue clothes and wear fun, patriotic earrings. Now, I view the holiday as a time to meet up with family and friends, and we never fail to catch the fireworks!”

~Aarushi Pant, IAGB Youth Editorial Director

“During my early years as an immigrant, I remember going to Boston Commons to watch the Boston Pops concerts, parades, and the grand finale of spectacular fireworks that concluded the Independence Day ceremony. I also looked at it as a long weekend when we planned to visit various tourist attractions. Over the years though, this view slowly transformed and I started considering myself privileged to be a proud citizen of this country of immigrants. Realized that we settled here for a ‘Life with Liberty and in the pursuit of happiness’. And that I chose to migrate to this beautiful country of abundance to fulfill my dreams and enjoy the freedom of everything.”

~Asha Thotangare, IAGB EC Member


“While taking the Oath, a new citizen promises to fulfill the following duties: Support and defend the U.S. Constitution and the laws of the United States against its enemies. Give up allegiance to any other nation or sovereign, and renounce hereditary or noble titles, if any. Every day, and especially on July 4th, I ask myself if I am being true to the oath taken during the citizenship ceremony and my thoughts go over my 18 years journey as a citizen.

When we came to the United States, the first few years involved adjusting to the new work culture, deadlines, and into the American society in general. Being immigrants, we all go through various challenges – raising kids, learning from the kids, and trying to fit into the larger community. During our core career journey, we Indians contribute so well in the medical, technology, research, financial, education and many other fields. Our contributions help the American economy grow by creating more jobs as well as building an excellent workforce. Once kids go to college, we start investing our time in voluntary work as per our individual choice and passions. So many of our community members are engaged in various non-profit, voluntary organizations, political initiatives by contributing their expertise, time and making monetary donations to the cause they believe in.

Therefore I want to say that with positive contributions to the American economy and community, not just me, but my larger Indo-American community and the next generation as well are indeed fulfilling the promises we made. Wishing everyone ‘Happy 4th of July’!”

~Santosh Salvi, IAGB EC Member

“The Fourth of July is the celebration of independence. The ways of celebrations have changed through times, what stayed constant is the spirit of celebrating independence! It’s a day when people get together for the festivities ranging from parades, barbecues, music, parties and an amazing night full of fireworks. The sound of the fireworks reminds me of the festival season in India. My first 4th of July celebration was in Boston. The weather was just perfect, not so hot and not so cold with a little breeze. The sound of nature, happiness and joy all filled in the air together. It was like a big party in the city. This year it feels the same, everyone is getting back together after the pandemic and planning for parades, barbecue, music and fireworks again.

A number of people will enjoy baseball games, especially with Hot Dogs! Do you know why Hot Dog is a big part of 4th of July celebrations? It all started in 1916, when four New York immigrants who wanted to prove to each other that they were the most patriotic participated in a Hot Dog eating contest. Thus, eating a Hot Dog on the 4th became a symbol of social unity. Personally, my own experiences of Fourth of July celebrations do not totally diverge from the rest of the community.

Wishing you all a very happy Fourth of July!! ”

~Gini Pookottil, IAGB Secretary


“July 4th is the anniversary of the United States’ Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. July 4th means the same to people in the U.S. as August 15th means to Indians. Our kids are taught to understand the importance of Independence Day through studying its history. July 4th reminds us of the value of freedom and liberty, and how the ancestors gave their lives so we could have the rights we have now. This freedom is the reason we are here in the USA following our dreams and providing our kids with opportunities we lacked in our childhood in a developing country. Not to forget that the actual war, almost 250 years ago, was indeed fought by immigrants living in the British colonies and opened the doors of the USA for future immigrants!”

~Deepak Garg, IAGB EC Member