We had one of our big Diwali celebrations in San Diego on October 15, 2016. It was the Festival of Lights held at Balboa Park. It was a fantastic event, yet again. This year it was special, because as well as dancing, we had singing, and there was a world-class singer who entertained us, so it was truly magnificent. His name is Aditya Rao, and apparently he has won several awards, and has appeared in several videos like the one below:
Here he is performing at Balboa Park, and he’s also seen in this video that I made
Here is a video that shows the lighting of the lamps display, and the women carrying the lamps during the lamp parade.
Here is a video showing Punjabi music and specifically, Bhangra at the Festival Of Lights….spectacular!
Here are more photos showing Aditya Rao, and the performances that he was part of.
Here are some other pictures taken at Festival Of Lights
These are the lamps on display. I have never taken pictures of the lamps before as I always get a seat, and never venture towards the lamps, but this year I did, and I’m glad!
Here are some of the other performances
One of Aditya Rao again, with the main presenter
Here’s little Chandra having fun!
This is Aditya Rao standing with the main organizers and this is just prior to the Indian Anthem being sung
President Barack Obama graced Diwali at Balboa Park with his presence, even though it was just on screen. He wished us a Happy Diwali! This was ever so nice, just to see President Obama in Balboa Park!
I really love going to the Festival Of Lights, as I enjoy seeing the performances, seeing Balboa Park again, seeing the stage graced by beautiful dances in clothes that sparkle, and then of course the lights tinkle! I also enjoy eating the Indian food that is available from many of the vendors who participate in Festival Of Lights. This year I got samosas, chicken saag and rice, and gulab jamun – that was two trays of food for me and Chandra, which included passion fruit juice for her and a nice cup of Pumpkin Spice Chai that cost just $9. You can’t beat that price!
I hope you enjoyed my pictures of the Festival Of Lights, and I hope you all have a truly beautiful Diwali. May light conquer over darkness, may good prevail over evil, and may we all experience peace, joy and prosperity on Diwali, and in the year ahead. Happy Diwali!
Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles, CA was a very memorable occasion. Why do I care about Indian Independence day? Of course I do! I am Indian, and even though I was born in England, I know my roots. August 15, is India’s Independence from the British. It might seem strange for some of you that I have an allegiance for India, and celebrated it’s independence from my other country. All I can say is I love England, and I love India, and now of course, I love the USA. I am very grateful though that the British gave India back. No country has the right to rule another.
We went to LA and stayed overnight for two days to celebrate my son’s birthday at Knotts Soak City, and then went to visit Artesia (Little India), and get my share of Indian culture. Oh, how I love visiting that area, and having a buffet lunch somewhere, followed by another visit to a smaller place to have Indian sweets and a cup of chai.
Well, imagine my delight when someone told me there would be a parade for Indian Independence Day the next day on Saturday – this was perfect, since we were in the area anyhow. I vowed to visit it, and furthermore, my daughter told me that her group was going to perform, and she wanted to see them. She took the day off from dancing this time, I think it was because I told her not to plan anything this weekend – since it was her brother’s birthday. She knew Raveena Tandon was going to be there in Los Angeles, but she didn’t realize that she was going to be at the same event or that her friends were performing at the same event as where we wanted to celebrate Indian Independence Day. Little do we know! So, when she said “Mum, the event that you want to go to is the event where my friends are performing, and where Raveena Tandon will be!” I thought perfect. Even more of a reason to attend! You may not know about Raveena Tandon, but she is a big mega-superstar, a Bollywood actress with many hit movies. She is an icon of Indian cinema.
So we got to the event at around 5:45 pm. I’m pretty sure she told me that one of her friends was supposed to be performing at 4:30 pm, and her group was going to be doing their dance at 5:30 pm. She was kind of upset that we might have missed it already when we got there and saw that practically all the seats were empty. We didn’t realize that the event had not started yet, we thought it had just finished. When I asked someone if it was over, she told us that it had not started yet, and we were so relieved. We wandered around, had samples of delicious chai and saw all the food vendors, and clothes displayed for sale. What a fabulous event, I thought – even before it began. Later in the evening, I tried the food.
Raveena Tandon arrived a little later than expected, and of course I captured most of her presence on the stage. Here are some pictures. You know I like taking pictures and videos! Here are just some of the pictures:
You will not believe what happened next at this great event. Well, someone made her upset, and of course I captured it, and I didn’t even know what was happening, as I was busy looking through the lens, and knew that something was brewing. Anyway, long story short, Raveena has seen my tweets of the videos, and apparently is happy that I posted the videos as they show what happened.
Here’s the video of where Raveena was upset:
I just wanted to give you some context of what is about to appear in my next post as for the first time ever, there will not be a single picture in that post. Also, I will not be introducing the Indian Independence Day event, the significance of it, or anything of that matter. That is why this post is being published first.
The organizers are called UFICA, and they responded to her tweets about their version of why the ending was not the way this great event should have ended. They publicized their letter on Twitter, and Raveena and her manager have asked me to publish their letter. That is coming up next.
I do want to say that no matter what – I really enjoyed the event, and I say that in all sincerity. There are always two sides to the story. Also, to read more about the event click here: http://www.indiawest.com/news/global_indian/raveena-tandon-ed-royce-grace-fia-ufica-independence-day-event/article_4e45b512-46ae-11e5-8384-ebe722be66ec.html