Tag Archives: FIA

Royalty Makes Its Way to the Indian Day Parade on Madison Avenue

20 Aug
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Representation of Shivaji Maharaj

     The excitement was building up around 38th St. and Madison Ave. this past Sunday in anticipation for the start of the 38th annual Indian Independence Day parade. Although the day was overcast, the marchers and dancers were sizzling hot getting ready to show off with great pride their community and culture. Billed as the largest Indian independence parade outside of India, this years theme of “the world is one family” was evident in many of the groups present in showing unity with the US. Undoubtedly the tech boom in the US has drawn hundreds of thousands of Indians from their homeland to make the NYC their new home.  Many of those transplants made their way along the parade route on Madison Ave. from 39th to 25th streets to cheer on their compatriots.

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Anupam Kher Gets the Parade Started

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Master Blaster Sir Vivian Richards Greets the Crowd

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Jallosh Gets the Crowd Worked Up

     As usual, the mounted police signaled the start of the parade. It is with great fanfare that the parade organizers, the Federation of India Association, invite celebrities from India as Grand Marshalls. This year was no exception with heavy hitters like the legendary film actor  Anupam Kher,  and the Master Blaster of cricket, Sir Vivian Richards gathering the most attention. Parade organizers invite groups from both the tri-state area and from India to participate in an amazing display of color and tradition. After all the VIPs and dignitaries  made their way to the reviewing stand on 27th St., the fun started with perennial favorite Swamibara Pipe Band playing an upbeat tune for the crowd. Air India displayed their famous record breaking all female pilots that circumnavigated the globe last year. The familiar drumbeat and high energy of Jallosh  always gives the crowd something to cheer about. A combination of new and traditional music style was seen in the Hotstar float. They were really good.

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Raising Awareness

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Celebrating Indian Independence

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Traditional dancers

     This years theme of “the world is one family” was displayed by various groups all throughout the parade. India is a deeply spiritual country with many religions and spiritual groups displaying banners helping to raise consciousness. It was great to see Yogi Masters and Buddhist monks share a moment of solidarity. My favorite sign was Peace is the One True Religion. Amen to that. Saving the best for last was a group invited to perform traditional dances from Mumbai. The Chhatrapati Foundation brought a dancing group and a representation of Shivaji Maharaj, founder of Hindavi Swarajya, self-rule, a government of the people. Many of the principles used then helped form the foundation of US democracy. All in all, it was a great parade with lots of colorful costumes and passing on of tradition to the next generation.

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Welcome to India my Friends

Colorful Display of Indian Culture and Celebration on Madison Ave.

22 Aug
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A Day Of Celebration

     Billed as the largest Independence Day celebration outside of India, the 37th annual parade made its way down the parade route on Madison Ave. between 36th and 25th Sts. Thousands had gathered to see one of the most colorful parades of the year celebrating the 71st year of Indian independence. This celebration is held in many parts of the US but the one in NYC always draws the largest crowds and the more popular celebrities. Parade sponsors, Federation of Indian Association (FIA-NYNJCT), invited Telegu actor and producer, Rana Dagubati  and actress Tamannah Bhatia, both famous for their roles in the popular film Baahubali: The Beginning. They were well received by the large crowd as they took their place by the VIP review stand on 27th St. Another special treat were the all-female Air India Lady Pilots and crew that became famous for being the first all-female pilots and crew to circle the globe. They received one the loudest applause from the crowd.

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Film Stars Rana Daggubati and Tamannah

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Air India Lady Pilots and Crew

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Jai Bharat Dancers Getting Ready

 

     As usual, the mounted police signaled the start of the parade. This year NYC Mayor DeBlasio made a well prepared speech about the contributions of the Indian American community to the city. Soon after the fun started when an annual favorite group, Jai Bharat, marched their way down the parade route. Their enthusiastic drummers got the crowd worked up for a fun-filled day. Soon after them, another drum group that keeps growing every year arrived. Jallosh really had fun with their lively music and dancing. India Idol finalists including Khuda Baksh appeared on a float. Other floats from the Star India Plus had displayed dancers moving to some popular songs.

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Blessings Of All Kinds

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Jamming on Madison Ave.

 

     India is as diverse and spiritual as any land in the world. With many religions, languages, and cultures on display, there still some important issues that were expressed. The Rally For Rivers group had a large group with a vital message to save the rivers from drying up due to global warming and farming issues. They can be contacted at RallyforRivers.org. Other returning groups were the World Yoga Community and the Jains of America group. Closing out the parade was the Christian group with their Biblical messages. All in all it was a fun parade to witness and a proud day for the Indian American community.

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