ICC September Newsletter 2011

Page 1

ICC Newsletter

September 2011

Volume 5.0




India Community Center of Austin

Message from the 2011 ICC Board

Namaste, Austin! Summer is almost over, and we are just beginning to get a respite from the 100 degree days; Fall is around the corner. The summer holidays are over and schools are in full swing. We will take a moment to reflect a little on iFest 2011, once again a huge success thanks to all of you for participating, volunteering, sponsoring or attending it. Thank you, Austin! We would, as always love to hear your feedback and how we can make this event bigger and better in the years to come! We also would like to take a moment to reflect upon our friends in areas affected by the recent wildfire and our thoughts and wishes are with them as they get back to normalcy. We are participating in with the local organizations as well to support the families that need our help. We are accepting nominations for open positions on the ICC board for 2012-13. If you are interested please email us with details at iccaustin@gmail.com. - Abdul, Harshita, Mary, Radhika, Raga, Ruhi, Salil, Sohail, and Sridhar


ICC Austin's iFest 2011 INTRODUCTION

ICC celebrated the 64th anniversary of India's Independence Day with iFest 2011, held on Sunday, August 14. The event was a grand success, with more than 2500 people in attendance. Food, music and dance marked the event, held at the North Austin Event Center. Visitors sampled offerings from some of Austin's leading restaurants and local food vendors. Kids and adults participated in a variety on mini-competitions, including idol making, mehendi designs and rangoli art. The centerpiece of the event was the annual Desi Star talent show. Some of Austin’s brightest talents dazzled audiences with music and dance acts that culminated with the crowning of Austin's very own DESI STARS--winners in the music and dance categories. City of Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell and Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton also attended the event and addressed the audience.


Each month, Parichay turns the spotlight on Indian community, organizations or non-profits that enrich Austin with their presence.

Be The Change

Austin has also been selected for the second straight year as a featured Core City, which will be highlighted nationally by “You Must Be the Change You Wish to See in the World” SAALT. Last year, Austin held the largest event in the country, with over five hundred volunteers participating in Be the Change National Day of Service Aims for Over over fifteen service projects for organizations such as the 1,000 Volunteers in Austin; Capital Area Food Bank, Texas After Violence, Trees for Convio Founder Vinay Bhagat to Keynote Kickoff Pease, and the Workers Defense Project. Organizers are Celebration confident that Austin’s spirit of service will enable the city to build on last year’s tremendous turnout and are aiming for AUSTIN, TX – On Saturday, October 1st, the people of Austin will come together to serve their community as part of over one thousand volunteers. the Be the Change National Day of Service. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quotation, “You must be the This year’s participants will kick off their day of service with change you wish to see in the world,” Be the Change takes a keynote speech from Vinay Bhagat, who founded Convio place every year on or near Gandhi’s October 2nd birthday. Started at the University of Michigan eleven years ago, Be the in April 1999 after volunteering at a public television pledge drive and being struck by the opportunity to help nonprofits Change has grown into a volunteer and leadership leverage Internet technology to drive better constituent development program that attracts thousands of volunteers across the country. In 2010, nearly 3,500 people volunteered relationships. Today, Convio serves over 1400 organizations including 27 of the top 50 U.S. charities and employs 430 in fifteen cities and on over sixty college campuses nationwide. Be the Change is coordinated nationally by South staff across six offices. In 2010, Convio helped its clients Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national non- raised more than $1.3 billion online, send almost 40 million messages to legislators, and deliver over 4.3 billion email profit organization dedicated to building a more just and messages. inclusive society. This year’s Be the Change National Day of Service in Austin will kick off on Saturday, October 1st, with a celebration from 8:30 to 10:00 AM on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol, followed by service projects throughout the rest of the day. Volunteer registration is now available online at BetheChangeAustin.org for the Town Lake Animal Shelter, Recycled Reads, and other service opportunities. Additional sites will be added in the coming weeks; proposals for projects should be submitted to Rupal Shah, Be the Change Volunteer Coordinator, at (512) 740-8895 or Volunteer@BetheChangeAustin.org. Groups are also welcome to volunteer together; for more details on how to register as a group, please visit BetheChangeAustin.org/register-to-volunteer/. Volunteers are also encouraged to RSVP, join the community discussion, and share the event with their networks on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php? eid=109740835789400

In collaboration with the Be the Change National Day of Service, the Austin chapter of the Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP) is sponsoring a creative writing contest on the topic, “If you could be the change you wish to see in the world, what change would it be?” All pre-college students in the Austin and Round Rock areas are invited to enter and compete in two categories: students aged sixteen and over and students under sixteen. Submissions may include essays, poems, stories, and other forms of creative writing that address the topic question. Entries may be fiction or non-fiction and no more than 1,500 words. Entries should be submitted electronically, via email to info@netipaustin.org by no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, September 23, 2011. Entries should include a cover page that lists the following: • Student’s name and age at time of submission • School presently attended • Title of submission NetIP will award a first and second place winner in each category, with prizes including an Apple iPad.

Would you like Parichay to feature your organization in the next edition? Please contact us at iccaustin@gmail.com .



Amongmong festival The festival is observed in the first week of September; mainly by the Sangtam tribe in Nagaland. The festival is celebrated for six days at the time of harvesting new crops in the fields. The people believe that by worshiping the deity of the house and three cooking stones in the fireplace to mark the Amongmong Festival; they will be blessed with good health, opulence, rich harvest and prosperity. Ganesh Chaturthi Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the 4th day of the month of Bhadrapad in the Hindu calendar which is usually around August or September; this year it fell on September 1, 2011. The festival marks the birth of Lord Ganesha. In this festival, the people make Ganesha idols made of clay (and other materials) to be worshiped from one to ten days. After the ceremonies are over the idols are taken in procession through the streets of the towns and immersed into the river/water. At the people sing lively devotional songs, dance, play enthusiastic music, recite poetry and so on. Onam Onam is the harvest festival (one of the most important festivals of Kerala) which is celebrated in Kerala and corresponds to the Malayalam New Year, Chingam. Onam celebrates the bounty of nature after a year of hard labor. According to legend, King Mahabali visits the state every year during the Onam festival to ensure wellbeing of the people, he is welcomed with great reverence. The festival ranges from four days to ten days and the activities are centered around worshiping, music, dances, sports, boat races and delicious food. Women dress up in new saris and

heavy jewelry and make elaborate, intricate designs of 'rangolis' (with coloured rice paste) and 'pookkalam' (with flowers) in front of their homes. The festival is about relishing on the grand traditional feast Onasadya, shopping, family reunions, and welcoming King Mahabali by spreading good cheer.

Teacher’s Day Teacher’s day is celebrated on September 5th since 1962. This day was selected to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who contributed immensely towards the Indian education system. “Dr Radhakhrishnan believed that "teachers should be the best minds in the country". The birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakhrishnan came to be celebrated as Teacher's Day when, one day, some of his students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrate his birthday. In reply, Dr. Radhakrishnan said, "instead of celebrating my birthday separately, it would be my proud privilege if September 5th is observed as Teacher's day".” (http://festivals.iloveindia.com/teachers-day/india/index.html). Teacher’s day is a day to thank and recognize our teachers for their hard work and contribution to our lives in terms of support, development and understanding. On this day senior students across India dress up as their teachers and give lectures. There are many functions which involve dramas, dance, food and other programs to celebrate our teachers.


ICC Austin ICC Board member elections for 2012 are coming up toward the end of the year. It is time to get a new team to take leadership for 2012-13, as we have some open positions on the board. We are looking for enthusiastic members to submit their nominations for the ICC Board team in 2012. If you have volunteered with ICC or other similar organizations, please do include that information as well. Please send your email nominations or any questions to iccaustin@gmail.com.

Be The Change is looking for Volunteers for October 1, 2011. You can register at:

- BetheChangeAustin.org - proposals for projects submit to Rupal Shah, Be The Change Volunteer Coordinator at 512-

740-8895 Volunteers are also encouraged to RSVP, join the community discussion, and share the event with their networks on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php? eid=109740835789400 Check page 3 of the newsletter for more information.

Glitzzy Events, DJ Nish, and Flex Real Estate present: Dazzle - A Spectacular Diwali Celebration Date: October 22nd, 2011, 7:30 pm – October 23rd, 2011, 12:00 am Venue: Ballet Austin, 501 West 3rd St., Austin, TX 78701 This will be Austin’s first-ever Diwali dinner-and-dance banquet. The venue is the beautiful and spacious Ballet Austin building in the heart of downtown Austin. Tickets: Adults - $25, Children (0-10 yrs) - $15. Group discounts of 10% will be offered to groups of 10 or more. The ticket price includes a delicious three-course dinner (vegetarian and non-vegetarian). The event will also feature Austin’s very own DJ Nish, so get ready to boogie to the best of Bollywood and Bhangra. There will be a cash bar at the venue. Recommended attire for the evening is South Asian ethnic formal wear. Seating is limited so sign up at the earliest! For tickets and information, contact Shibani at 512-9053696. Come join in the fun and festivities! We look forward to celebrating with you!


This month’s paid Prayojana features an advertising sponsor in the Indian community.

Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine

Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine is a Fine dine Indian Restaurant that opened its doors to the public on July 18th 2011. The restaurant is spacious and can hold up to 85 guests at any given time. It offers a delicious Buffet for lunch daily and has and extensive well balanced menu for its A la carte Dinner, that includes appetizers such as Delhi ki Aloo Chaat,Okra Delight,Bombay Prawn Masala..the Entree includes dishes such as Masaledar Lamb Chops,Bhutta, Methi Palak and Fish Molly (A kerala sea food specialty). The Restaurant is decorated with a contemporary touch to give an ambience and atmosphere of Serenity and offers value for food both in portion and flavor. Lunch Buffet that is offered daily, boasts of a variety of 10-12 vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes combined. A choice of Soup and unlimited complimentary naan is a part of the Buffet. Located within the HEB shopping center at Parmer and Mopac, parking is ample. Taj Mahal, welcomes all to come and be a part of an Enjoyable and pleasing Dining experience. Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine. 12407 N Mopac Expwy.(The Market at Parmer Lane). Next to HEB. Austin Tx 78758. 512 837 4444www.tajmahalaustin.com

Would you like Prayojana to feature your organization in the next edition? Please contact us at iccaustin@gmail.com .

Sambandha Relationship Q&A

Q: Giving Up on Mr. Right. I find myself getting a bit

apathetic about relationships, dating, and finding my special someone. It's not that I haven't dated, or haven't dated one or two decent guys in the past. It's just that the decent guys didn't work out for various reasons and the rest of the guys I've been meeting since have been real losers. I'm starting to really wonder whether there are any decent guys left at all or whether they're just already taken at this point? I'm already well into my 30s.

A I'm sorry to hear that, and you're certainly not alone in feeling frustrated. Let me reassure you-there are

definitely great guys out there. That said, what's out there is unlikely to be the issue (and, in any case, it is not something that's under your control). What is under your control is the set of beliefs you allow yourself to hold. I know it may often seem like our beliefs cannot be subject to our conscious control. I, on the other hand, choose to believe that we are fully accountable to ourselves for our beliefs, and that we have the power to change them, rather than powerlessly remaining beholden to beliefs that limit our ability to reach our goals. Since you courageously reached out to ask your question, I think it's fair to presume finding a life partner continues to be an important life goal for you. Do you think your belief that there are not any decent guys left may affect your ability to remain open-minded in your interactions with the opposite sex? As psychologist Judith Sills writes in her book Excess Baggage, "It's difficult to spot the ways you defeat yourself. But there are clues: patterns of bad luck or bad feeling that you experience again and again, recurring struggles or disappointments you know cannot be mere chance. These are clues you have been leaving for yourself. Use them as a first step toward identifying your excess baggage ... On the cognitive level, excess baggage refers to any unexamined values, beliefs, or assumptions that make you sadder, more anxious, more frightened, or generally weaker than you would otherwise have to be." Since it will be difficult for you to reach your goal while maintaining this limiting belief, make a choice about keeping or discarding it. We all tend to look for evidence backing up our beliefs. That is why it is so crucially important to be willing to let our beliefs go when they no longer serve us. Jasbina Ahluwalia is a former attorney and the founder of Intersections Match, the only national matchmaking and dating coaching firm for South Asian Singles. www.IntersectionsMatch.com. Jasbina@IntersectionsMatch.com.

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