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In the

MSADA’s Community The Metro South Asian Deaf Association, Issue #7_04

The MSADA’s Fifth General Meeting

Editor: Thushara T. Wijetilaka

“Happy Independence Day”

Save the dates!

Executive Members:

Ramesh & Molly Mirchandani Rakesh & Rana Taneja Prabhakar & Kitty Shenoy Madan & Nirmala Vasishta Nita & Atul Wagh Kal & Apu Varia Zeke Sabastain Hatim & Gausia Vali Tahir Rathore & Zara Husain Thushara T. Wijetilaka As the summer is in full swing, some of us are heading off on a vacation. The 5th General meeting took place in Columbia, MD, on Saturday, the 10th of July, at 2:30 p.m, in Apu and Kal Varias’ residence. The Executive members welcomed the surprised visitors Prasad & Lakshmi Jandhyala, Sreedhar & Kalpana

Pidathala, and Larry & Amrit Stephen. They discussed topics that affect the community as a whole, but all of the enthusiastic conversation and delicious Potluck dinner warmed us considerably. For those who are planning the vacation sometime in the coming weeks or months, We wish you a safe and relaxing time off. Let's return from our summer holidays, refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to continue working together as team!

August 28th: The MSADA invites you all to the 1st Annual Potluck Picnic Bash at Cabin John Regional Park, Rockville, MD on August 28th, 2004 from 11 am to 6 pm.

Come on out and enjoy a day of friendship and fun! Thanks are in order to

Prabhakar (Blue) & Kitty Shenoy

and Rakesh Taneja for their efforts in organizing the MSADA Potluck Picnic. For additional information, please surf on

September 25th: The MSADA’s 6th general meeting will take place on the 25th of September from 1 – 4 p.m. in the residence of Madan & Nirmala Vasishta, 10122 Candy Ct, Manassas, VA 20110. There will be a potluck dinner at five pm. Members and guests are invited to bring the potluck dinner. For emergency contact and directions, please contact Madan (

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As waves of stars and stripes flood the nation’s Fourth of July celebrations, one, however, wonders as to why does MSADA celebrate the Independence Day in the month of August? True, we just celebrated the Independence Day which was the national holiday of the United States of America commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The MSADA community in VA/DC/MD celebrates the Independence Day in reflecting on their countries of origin, with a great deal of fervor during the week of 14/15 August 2004. Pakistanis and Indians at home and abroad will be celebrating their Independence Day in the month of August. However, Independence Day is a time for people around the world, not just Americans, to reflect on the value of freedom. Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans too share the reflection of their own country’s independence, this year. We, the MSADA, wish you, your family, friends and relatives a very Happy Independence Day.

History of Independence Day and chronological events that the South Asian countries led to the sovereign day: India was a British colony. It earned its independence from the British on August 15th, 1947. Before it’s independence, it was feared that India because of diversities in it’s cultures, religion, languages, castes, manners, local histories, nationalities and identities, would not survive as a single democratic country, but would break up into small countries. The day before that Pakistan which was created as a result of partition of British India was established and flanked on two sides of India: West Pakistan which is called today Pakistan, and East Pakistan, now an independent country called Bangladesh. After its independence, the political leaders of India adopted the liberal democratic system for the country. But the British army left India ultimately in 1950. The Indians celebrate this day January 26th 1950 as the Republic Day of India. On this day the Indian constitution was adopted. Until its independence in 1947, other countries which neighbor India today; Pakistan, Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan), Myanmar (formerly Burma) and distant places like Aden in present day Yemen; were all parts of British India. th

This August 14 , 57 years would have passed since Pakistan emerged on the world map. It was the fruit of the continuous efforts and struggle of the Muslims in

South-Asia for an area which could be called their homeland, a land which would be a living example of the Islamic system and way of life. On


26, 1971, the day Independence of Bangladesh was formally declared on the eve of a 9 months long war of Independence with Pakistan that led to the emergency of Bangladesh as a sovereign nation. Ceylon commemorates the history of the end of British Colonial Rule, on February 4th, 1948. Ceylon was made a republic in 1972 and renamed Sri Lanka. The islands rich diversity which emanates from the existence of two great civilizations of the Sinhalese and Tamils. Four great religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity have contributed to significant achievements in the islands recent history as well. It is now 2004. Times have changed, people have changed, and so have Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh. We gave the new millennium and these countries are ready to face the challenges that will be presented in the 21st century. It is not merely a nationality or identity we have gained, it is a way of life. It is the freedom of life which our countries have gifted us the freedom that is in the air around us that we breathe, the freedom that is in the land we walk on, the freedom that can be felt when looking at the clouds hover in the skies above us.

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Summer Squash Casserole By Molly Mirchandani This potluck dish Molly made for the meeting last Saturday, July 10th was a “quite big hit” 2 lbs yellow summer squash sliced or cubed (about 6 cups)

* Zucchini may be mixed with or substituted for the yellow squash

¼ cup chopped onion 1 cup (8 oz.) dairy sour cream (prefer the light sour cream) 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (original recipe)

* may be cream of mushroom or celery for vegetarians 1 cup shredded carrots ½ cup butter or margarine, melted 1 (8 oz.) pkg. Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned stuffing mix (about 4 cups)

In saucepan, cook squash & onions with small amount of boiling water & salt for 5 minutes; drain. Combine soup & sour cream. Stir in shredded carrots then fold in drained squash & onion. Combine stuffing mix & melted butter. Spread half of mixture in bottom of baking dish (about 12”x7”). Spoon vegetable mixture on top. Sprinkle remaining stuffing over vegetables. Bake in 350 degrees oven for 25 – 30 minutes. Enjoy this main dish! ************

A message from the Event 2004 Chairperson

Greetings to you all, I cannot believe less than four months are left for Diwali and Ramadan. Incidentally, it will be eight days after the election! Ramesh, Hatim and I are looking for a hall that is large enough to comfortably seat 200 people. There are lots of halls around DC areas that meet this criterion, but they also cost an arm and a leg. We need a hall that is el cheapo. If anyone knows of a good place that costs little dinaro, please let one of us know. If there is a free hall, we are open for that too. Kalpana Varia will be working with me in finding the most delicious food for the least price. The Master & Mistress of Ceremonies due par excellence— Nita Wagh and Hatim Vali — will keep you all on your feet during the celebration. They will tap you for your skills, talents and knowledge to make this event interesting and informative. Thushara and Kalpana Varia will make sure the hall is beautifully decorated. Zeke Sebastian with behind-the scenes support from Ramesh Mirchandani will get the tickets printed and make sure we do not oversell them. I will keep you posted on the progress of preparations for this event. If you have any ideas and suggestions, please send email to me. Have a blessed day, Madan Vasishta

From the beginning.. In the past, there were some memorable and happy events that were organized by the ‘former’ South Asian members of the ADIA (Association of Deaf Indian Americans). They have been working hard in accomplishing the mission in making the ADIA recognized over the years and the work had been passed over to next members who resumed continuing the mission. Unfortunately, the mission had been interrupted at least three or four times, because the members had moved on with their own lives and had lost the contact over the years. How incredible for the advanced technology, E-mail and the exciting event “Deaf Way II” of which Gallaudet University hosted in the summer, July 2002 that got the former and new members together. And they teamed up in planning the 2003 Diwali event, as it gave the opportunity to reunite with former and new members after many years. Since, there are many people with different cultures, so the organization Metro South Asian Deaf Association (MSADA) was founded last May 10th, 2003. This association is not limited to only Indians – inviting everybody across South Asia including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldvies, Nepal, Malaysia, South Africa, Singapore, and Trinidad and etc al to join as well as to share their culture. “Metro” refers to the members who are from locally, the residents of Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia. Page 3

They are more enthusiastic to work together as team, in the present to the future. In anticipating the days to come, MSADA’s goal is to grow and expand with more exciting news, ideas and faces, in the future! The MSADA members are currently drafting bylaws and developing a website ( They are also planning a social gathering in the Fall 2004. They are content in organizing social activities that would foster a sense of community among the Deaf South Asian Diasporas. The benefit to join the MSADA community is to enjoy the cultural social and recreational rather than political. Also, to educate each other the varieties of culture in each country would be more enriched and knowledgeable. Non-South Asians and hearing people can be part of the club, too. The motto for the MSADA Club is basically, just have fun and be yourself! This club belongs to everyone who wants to make a difference, and realize they can make the difference. The merrier we would love you to join us and make our MSADA Club growing big and bigger. Membership Dues: Couple/Family: $15 Individual: $10 Student: $7 Senior Citizen (60+) Individual: $7 Couple/Family: $12 Please contact Minar Kamdar at to make a payment arrangement. The check or money order should be in the U.S. Currency only.

MSADA Newsletter July 2004  
MSADA Newsletter July 2004  

Issue 7_04