Diwali Celebrations this year

How is it like celebrating Diwali in bay area this year 2010? There’s been Dandiya dances all over in October. The desi stores are decked up with Diwali mithai and puja stuff. You could be planning get-togethers with friends and family. And now there are Diwali festivals being organized all over the bay area, and you could decide to attend one of those.

There is general festivity in the air. Even the stores in the malls and elsewhere are beginning to show that holiday season is not far away. So if you would like to do any new purchases on occasion of Diwali – the Dhanteras Tradition, its not a bad time either.
The lead this year, like others, for Diwali celebration is being provided by the temples of the region.
The Bay Area Youth Vaishnav Parivar is organizing what they call ‘Diwali Celebration like back home in India‘ for five days from Nov 2 to 7 in Milpitas.
The Sunnyvale Hindu Temple is organizing Diwali Mela 2010 from Oct 29 – 31. The Livermore Hindu Temple is organizing special puja on Nov 5 and 6. The Fremont temple has the big festival going on on Nov 6. The Sikh Gurudwaras have a huge Diwali celebration and langar on Diwali as well.

Diwali at Fremont Gurdwara
Diwali at Fremont Gurdwara

Adding to the festival calendar during this time, especially for the kids, is Halloween. If adults want to indulge, there is Halloween Party + Miss India Norcal at an event organized in Milpitas.

The businesses and other associations have been active as well. Cupertino Chamber of Commerce & Asian American Business Council organized Diwali Festival on Oct 8, and IIT Foundation had their cultural competition on Oct 2 in Campbell.
The Tri Valley Indian Association is also organizing their Diwali night on Nov 13 at the Hart Middle School, Pleasanton. So if you are in Dublin, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Livermore, Danville – this could be your local Diwali festival. (UPDATE Nov 4, 2010 – the Pleasanton event stands cancelled).

Private parties and potlucks on Diwali are common – then there are Diwali Meetups like this one if one is interested in for San Ramon Pleasanton area for Nov 6.

And finally, for the day of Diwali, plan on dressing up, lighting up your house, do rangoli, puja, eat a lot of mitthai but refrain from any fireworks.

Celebrate Diwali in Tri Valley

The Tri Valley Indian Association is celebrating Diwali in style by organizing a “Diwali Dhamaka 2010” event on Saturday, November 13th at the Hart Middle School, Pleasanton.
Its to be a night of fun, celebration, dance and good food.
The actual day of Diwali is a week before, on 5th of November. So keep that weekend for worshiping and puja, and culminate the festivities with a dhamaka the next week!

TVIA Diwali 2010

Date: Sat, Nov 13th, 2010
Location: Hart Middle School, Pleasanton, CA.
Time: 6:00pm – 10:00 pm
Cost: Adult – $20
Kids (5yrs – 15yrs) – $10
Kids (3yrs – 5 yrs)- $5
Kids (Under 3 yrs)- Free
Discount of 10% for 10 tickets or more; tickets available at sulekha.com
Diwali celebration in Tri Valley
This event is cancelled as of Nov 4, 2010. Here is the email communication from tvia.
On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 11:25 AM, TVIA East Bay wrote:

It is with great regret I want to inform you that this year’s Diwali event has been cancelled. We couldn’t organize the event this time due to lack of participation.
We hope to get more volunteers in the future so that we can continue promoting Indian traditional events in the East Bay Area.

Nevertheless, Happy Diwali 2010 wishes to you and your family !
TVIA committee.

Dandiya hee Dandiyaa

Well, next in the calendar is Navratri, and Dandiya or Garba nights that come with it.
Garba is an Indian form of dance that originated in the Gujarat region. It is more similar to Western folk dance than to the presentational style of Indian classical dances such as bharatanatyam and odissi. The name garba comes from the Sanskrit term Garba (“womb”) and Deep (“a small earthenware lamp”).
Modern garba is also heavily influenced by raas. Raas or Dandiya Raas is the traditional folk dance form of Vrindavan, India, where it is performed depicting scenes of Holi, and lila of Krishna and Radha. Along with Garba, it is the featured dance of Navratri evenings in Western India.

There is a huge interest in Garba amongst the youth of the Indian and in particular Gujarati diaspora in Garba. Garba and Dandiya Raas are popular in US where more than 20 Universities have Raas Garba Competitions of a huge scale every year with professional choreography.

What to wear:
Both men and women usually wear colorful costumes while performing garba and dandiya. The girls and the women wear ghaghra choli, a three-piece dress with choli on the top and ghaghra as bottom, made of cotton with beads, shells, mirrors, sitars, and embroidery work, mati, jhumkas, necklaces, bindi, bajubandh, chudas and kangans, kamarbandh, payal, and mojiris and dupatta tucked in the Gujarati manner. Boys and men wear kafni pyjamas with a kediyu – a short round kurta – above the knees and pagadi on the head with bandhini dupatta, kada, and mojiris.

In Dandiya Raas men and women dance in two circles, with sticks in their hands. In the old times Raas did not involve much singing, just the beat of Dhol was enough. “Dandiya” or sticks, are about 18″ long. Each dancer holds two, although some times when they are short on Dandiya they will use just one in right hand. Generally, in a four beat rhythm, opposite sides hit the sticks at the same time, creating a nice sound. One circle goes clockwise and another counter clockwise. In US, people don’t form full circles, but instead often form rows.

Participate, and enjoy Dandiya in the Bay Area. For Tri Valley folks, there is one on Oct 16 in Pleasanton!

Vibha Dandia 2010
When: Saturdays, Oct 2nd, 9th and 16th
Where: Centerville Junior High School , 37720 Fremont Boulevard, Fremont, California 94538
Cost: Early bird tickets: $10, • Regular price: $13 • Kids aged 10 and under: FREE • Door price: $15 (if available)
Others: • Free Dandia/Raas/Garba lessons will be provided by experienced dancers to all ticket holders • Dandia sticks, Food and beverages can be purchased at the venue

vibha dandia 2010 bay area
vibha dandia 2010 bay area

SEF Dandia 2010 Sankara Eye Foundation
When: Oct 9th and 23rd 2010 (Santa Clara) ; Oct 16th 2010 (Pleasanton) – 7:00 PM
Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton
Cost: $15
Others: FREE: Dandia Lessons for ALL, Entrance For Kids Under Age 5, Parking. Also, complimentary Check-In Service for Your Dandia Sticks, Special Dancing Area For Kids providing them Extra Safety, Free teak dandia sticks for first 500 tickets per event

SEF Dandia Bay Area
SEF Dandia Bay Area
SEF Dandia 2010
SEF Dandia 2010

Small Steps Diwali Dandia 2010
When: Oct 30 2010, at 7:30pm
Where: Address :Centerville Junior High School in Fremont – 37720 Fremont Boulevard, Fremont, CA
Cost: Early Bird (Until Oct 10th) :Adult – $10, Child (5-12) – FREE, Regular (After Oct 10th) :Adult – $13, Child (5-12) – $5, At the Gate :Adult – $15, Child (5-12) – $5
Others: Free Dandia Lesson during 1st hour

Small Steps Dandia 2010
Small Steps Dandia 2010

Sewa Dandia 2010
When: Oct 8 2010 8:00PM
Where: Sunnyvale Temple Hall, 420 Persian Drive, Sunnyvale, CA
Cost: General Admission $10 (FREE For Kids Under 10 Years)
Others: Subsidized food; All proceeds will go towards Sewa International service projects. Free lessons for Dandia.
Sewa Dandia 2010 Bay Area

IFDA Navratri Hungama 2010
When: Oct 24 2010 6:00PM
Where: East Valley YMCA Gym, 1975 South White Road, San Jose, CA
Cost: :$10 Current IFDA Students and immediate families, non-IFDA attendes under the age of 12. $15 – non-IFDA attendees above the age of 12.
Others: Lessons; Celebrity Guest Ganesh Venkataraman; bone-marrow drive
IFDA Navratri 2010

Traditions engaged dance festival in San Francisco, Oct 1-3

Chitresh Das Dance Company & Chhandam School of Kathak invite you to the historic unprecedented festival – Traditions Engaged: An International Festival of Classical Indian Dance & Music.

Experience a weekend of dynamic dance & percussion, and dramatic storytelling by the world’s foremost masters, Gurus, and artists of the many diverse classical Indian dance forms: Kathak, Bharath Natyam, Odissi, Kathakali, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Gauriya Nritya.

See http://kathak.org/traditionsengaged/ for details.

Now gear up to practice Cricket – indoors!

The cricket fans in the bay area have something to cheer about. Next month (September), an indoor cricket practice facility is opening up in Union City. It will have four indoor batting lanes with dedicated bowling machines. Coaching and Training will be available. The facility is located 2 minutes from the Whipple exit on 880.

Fri-Sun 9:00 AM-11:00 PM
Cricket Strike Zone Inc.(CSZ)
2919 Whipple Road
Union City, CA 94587

CSZ will have plenty of options ranging from Team packages, individual packages, kids coaching, one on one training with certified coaches, international player appearances, Bowling machine practice, agility training, sponsoring national teams youth teams etc. This could definitely increase standard of cricket in Bay Area and help produce more national level players from the region.

For more information, call 916-612-1160.

CSZ Indoor Cricket Practice

The facility is promoted by Mukul Kumar – he has been playing league cricket for 3 years and is his way of giving back to the cricketing community, as well satisfy his entrepreneurial spirit. Indoor cricket has been a long missing feature in the rich tradition of playing cricket in Bay Area. As he started playing, he “realized that it is a tremendous task to get people/team together for practice as most of the enthusiasts are hard working full time people”. He also took this on as he wanted to promote the spirit of cricket in the Bay Area by introducing specialized coaching and training which would build character and strength in kids. “Cricket is a game of great skills and concentration. It teaches one everything to learn in life.”

The Kirtan movement – catching on

Its quite heartening to know about the ‘kirtan’ movement, and how active and alive it is the bay area. ‘Kirtan’ means a rendition of music as you pray to the God, a kind of call-and-response chanting performed in India’s devotional traditions (in Sankrit). It is a major practice in Vaisnava north Indian Hindu religious context as well as in Sikhism and Sant traditions. What makes this movemen different in US is that looks like there is rarely an Indian participating in it! So a rare kind of Hindu manifestation that is finding adherents in the West (like Yoga). And talking of such liberal tranditions in American society, where else to find this but in the northern california, and around Berkeley.
Bay Area Kirtan - Marin County Feb 2010
The idea of Kirtan in US started with Paramhansa Yogananda and later spead with Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Its becoming increasingly popular at the Yoga Centers.
There are various active meet-up groups that are bringing people together for Kirtans. For example, the Bay Area Kirtan Lovers group is ‘for people who love kirtan, or for anyone who is curious about it. If you enjoy the music of Krishna Das, Snatam Kaur, Jai Uttal, Deva Premal, Karnamrita Dasi, Ragani, Mukti, Jaya Lakshmi, Dave Stringer and other kirtan artists, then this group is for you!’
The group which meets for one kirtan per month in the San Francisco Bay Area. Members sometimes also get together either before or after a kirtan, sharing a meal or dessert/tea, so they can get to know each other better as well and “experience some wonderful synchronities”! ‘Those who haven’t yet experienced kirtan, but are interested in spirituality, yoga, meditation, music, etc. are also welcome to join the group and check it out. Sometimes car-pooling may be available with other members.’
The Kirtan groups shun some commercial aspects, like someone coming to promote yoga classes.
There are various Kirtan updates available on http://www.boloma.com/ – that have further links into various recurring bhakti and Kirtan related events in the San Fransisco Bay Area.

2010 Annual Picnic – Tri Valley Indian Association

TVIA is organizing this year’s annual summer picnic on Aug 21, 2010 at the Shannon Park, Dublin. The time is 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
Its of course, a volunteer, bring-stuff-for-yourself-and-everyone-else event. If interested, you could RSVP by sending an email to pritinagda[a]gmail. com with number of people attending and what food item you’d like to bring. Activities on the card are Cricket, art/coloring, water balloons, playing cards, etc.
You could check pictures of the last year’s TVIA summer picnic.tri-valley-2009-picnic

This year’s Holi event at the Emerald Glen park was a hit – some pictures.
The mission of the Tri-Valley Indian Association is to promote Indian culture within the residents of the Tri-Valley area, (especially among children) and the community at large.

Shine’s India Calling – US Job Fair 2010

Shine’s India Calling – US Job Fair 2010 is a unique opportunity for corporates based in India to hire the talent of Indian origin based out of US seeking for a suitable career opportunity in India. They would also help chosen candidates to relocate to India.
Venue : The fair will be held in Santa Clara (and another one in New Jersey as well)

The date is 3rd & 4th September at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA

As many as 60,000 Indian professionals working and settled abroad returned to India last year from the US. To help more home-bound NRIs realize their dream of a job in India, Hindustan Times brings to you a unique two-day Job Fair each at New Jersey and Santa Clara which will bring recruiters from India and potential NRIs across the table. The experienced professionals working in the US will be able to choose from suitable assignments in India in the field of IT, R&D, Finance, Infrastructure, Retail and Business Development. For recruiters it will be a great opportunity to bring home high quality talent.
To be conducted in association with Shine.com, one of India’s leading career portals, the job fair offers much more than just job opportunities. It will bring for you real estate giants and representatives from top schools in the metro cities across the Indian subcontinent to assist in relocating your family. All this to make your movement back to India happy and hassle-free.
India Calling will attract widespread business attention and will be supported by a high decibel media campaign in India and in the US. The two day event at New Jersey and Santa Clara is expected to draw around 8000 top notch professionals and will feature some of the largest corporates.

Some of the companies that can be targetted by the candidates are HCL, Amazon, GenX, Royal Bank of Scotland, Unisys, Akamai, Mancer, Capgemini, Global Logic, IBM, CSS, Aqua Dolphin, Sapient, Cybage.
The candidates can register here.

Address:Santa Clara Convention Center
5001 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, CA
Phone No.:+91-984 518 5621
Email Id:[email protected]

Enlightened Parenting

: Raising Kids in the Noise of Non-Violence
By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a spiritual teacher and the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, an international nonprofit educational, humanitarian and service organization with centers in over 140 countries. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar travels throughout the world teaching the art of living.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gave an extemporaneous talk on youth violence recently at Harvard University. The following article is composed of excerpts from that talk:

If we just take a look at the children, the way they were in schools a few decades back, and then take a look at the children today, we see some marked differences. These may provide some insight into the violence among children today.

Pride in Violence
There is no sense of shame or guilt involved with crime today. Instead, a sense of pride is attached to acts of violence. A few decades back, violence was associated not so much with pride, but with shame. A student used to feel ashamed to do a violent act. But today, due largely to the influence of the media, aggression has become a source of pride. The aggressive students in the classroom get more attention, and they feel proud being aggressive and angry.
When I was a student, if someone was aggressive in the classroom, others would look down on them. That student would feel very apologetic afterwards, and they would have to make it up—by being kinder and doing service in the classroom. But today, we see that aggression seems to be a way of living, a way of moving forward, a way of success, and a source of pride in children. This, in a very subtle way, encourages violence. When aggression and violence are promoted in society, human values diminish.
Today, certain movies and modern music glorify frustration, anger and revenge, and make these status symbols and role models for children. We need to counteract this influence. A sense of shame has to be connected with anger and violence. We need to promote human values, especially love, compassion and a sense of belonging, loud and clear.

Dealing with Emotions
Basically in the teenage years, from about 15 to 20, there is considerable emotional turmoil and turbulence happening within. If teenagers do not find a way to express these emotions, they are stuck with them. These emotions ferment and become violence.
Neither at school nor at home have we taught our kids how to handle their own emotions. Any amount of counseling, talking, or reading books does not help because it is all working at an intellectual level. When emotions arise, they come like a storm; they overtake us—our intellect, our concepts, our ideas. So what to do?
We can compare emotions with the owner of a house, and the intellect or concepts with the gatekeeper. The gatekeeper will stop someone from coming from outside, but if the owner of the house comes in and goes out, the gatekeeper cannot do anything about it, because the gatekeeper is being paid by the owner! So our emotions are like the owner. And the intellectual concepts, the ideas, the promises that we make to ourselves—these do not help at all.
Counseling is dealing with the gatekeeper or the watchman. It is not really dealing with the owner of the house, who is in control. Emotions are more in control of our life than our intellect, our thoughts, our concepts and ideas.

The Importance of the Breath
So how do you tackle the emotions? It has to be done at the existential level, at the level from where they arise. Here, I would say the breath could play an important role. Have you noticed that every emotion has a definite pattern of breath? Suppose you are in the acting field. If you want to show anger, the director would ask you to breathe a certain way. If you breathe faster, then you are able to exhibit that anger. In the same way, there is definite rhythmic pattern of breath associated with every emotion. Joy, frustration, sadness, jealousy, and greed all have definite rhythmic breathing patterns. When we attend to these definite breath patterns, we can gain control over our breath as well as our emotions. Just as in the acting field we can use the breath to show our emotions, in the same way, we can utilize the breath to calm down the emotions.
Certain breathing techniques can be learned that are powerful tools in which every cell of our body becomes energized, and impressions of aggression get released, impressions which have infiltrated the cells of our body. By nature one feels calm and serene afterwards.

A Sense of Belonging
The second thing is lack of a sense of belonging. We have developed a program for the children called ART Excel (All Round Training for Excellence). In this program, I ask the child to make one new friend every day. Let’s say there are 30 to 40 children in a classroom, a child is not friendly with all 30 to 40 kids. Each class has ten groups of three children each. But if a child is unable to be friendly with 30 people over a period of one, two or three years, how are they going to be friendly when they get out of school? We have not taught children the basic values of life: how to be friendly with everybody, how to have a sense of belonging with everyone. So one of the things we teach in the ART Excel program is to make one new friend every day.

Standing in Someone Else’s Shoes
A third thing is to have a child step out of her shoes and get into someone else’s shoes, and see from there. See the other person’s point of view. Here also I give another exercise to the children. Suppose they say they hate someone very much. I would tell them, “Okay, behave like those whom you hate for just 15 minutes, half an hour, or half a day.” They suddenly realize the person whom they hate is loveable too. Do you see what I am saying? Despite the shortcomings of that person, the child is able to like them.

Increasing Self-Esteem
A deep sense of regret and low self-esteem is another cause of aggression. Telling a child continually, “You are no good”—all the time bombarded with this thought: “You are no good”—makes a child lose their self-esteem and become more aggressive. We need to bring up their self-esteem. This is the fourth aspect. For this also, we have several processes that make children feel good about themselves.

Smiling Through Criticism
The fifth aspect is to see that nothing can take away your self-respect. Suppose someone makes a comment about you. You should have the ability to withstand that criticism and smile through it. Most children do not have the strength to withstand criticism. A child should have the ability to criticize boldly and then to withstand any criticism that is given to them, in whatever manner. This opens them up to such a strength within themselves that they are able to move through any ragging or teasing they may happen to encounter.

A Sense of Humor
A sense of humor is very important, and helps children handle teasing. Inculcate a sense of humor in children, so they develop the ability to turn an adverse situation to their advantage by bringing humor into it. A sense of humor helps children withstand criticism and enables them to give criticism in a more playful manner. You will often find that those children who do not have a sense of humor are more aggressive.

Physical Activity
Those children who do not engage in some physical activity are also more aggressive. We need to attend to their exercise. A child who is weak becomes more aggressive. You will not find a child who does a lot of exercise, who goes to the gymnasium, who swims, who has a strong healthy body, being too agitated or angry. Often children who play video games or sit, with very little physical activity, are more prone to violence than those who do a lot of physical activity. So we should take care that a child does enough exercise.

Another aspect is children’s food habits. When they eat too much sugar or drink too many carbonated drinks, they become restless and aggressive. There have been several studies done on this subject. But you can experiment yourself: have more sugar and see how you feel. Your attention gets distracted. Many children have Attention Deficiency Disorder. This is also because of wrong food habits.
Drinking too many soft drinks adversely affects our system and makes us more aggressive. You see, by nature our system is made to breathe out carbon dioxide. But we are pumping carbon dioxide into water and drinking it as soft drinks. So we are doing something against nature.
When a person feels aggressive, he breathes faster. Have you noticed? An aggressive person doesn’t breathe slowly; he breathes faster because the system needs more oxygen. In the process of breathing everything tenses, and that comes out as aggression. This can also happen to someone if they are given a lot of carbon dioxide in the form of soft drinks. So healthy food habits also play a role in causing a person to become less violent.

The Noise of Non-Violence
We need to attend to all these eight factors in order to promote non-violence among young people today. Parents and educators need to place greater emphasis on human values, including compassion, service to society and an understanding of how precious all life is.
Often violence comes with noise. Non-violence happens in silence. People who are violent make a huge noise; they make it known. People who are non-violent are quiet. But the time has come for people who are nonviolent to make noise so that the violence will quiet down. The message of non-violence has to come loud and clear so that it can be heard from a young age.

The ART Excel program (All Round Training for Excellence) for children and teens between the ages of 8-18 is through the Art of Living Foundation. ART Excel (All Round Training in Excellence) is a dynamic program for youth that enables them to eliminate stress, handle emotions, deal with peer pressure, and develop leadership skills. Youth are provided techniques that increase mental focus and facilitate the learning process. The ART Excel curriculum nurtures human values and embraces all cultures, religions, ethnic and racial backgrounds. Kids have fun, as they become creative and responsible leaders of tomorrow.

For more information about the ART Excel program, please contact:
Gungun Kapoor @ 510-456-5121

New Hindi classes – sessions starts in San Ramon

For the third year running, DAV Learning is going to organize the Hindi learning classes.
The 2010-2011 academic year begins Sunday, August 29, 2010. General registration is on Sunday, August 22 at 1.00pm at 9110-F Alcosta Blvd (Tutoring Club), San Ramon, CA 94583.

For enrollment forms and information, please email [email protected] or call 510-909-8190.

DAV Learning applies an international, certified Hindi curriculum that provides progressive, proficiency-based Hindi classes for kids K and above.

Our adept teachers, excellent facilities, and student rewards system encourages attendance and learning. In addition, we provide colored worksheets and a well-stocked personal binder that completes a full academic package.

  • Excellent Facilities
  • Students Points Reward System
  • Hindi Progressive Classes for Beginners, Level 1, 2, 3 & 4
  • Monthly & Semester Tests, Yearly Certification & Progress Report Assessment for Each Child
  • Recognized International Curriculum

NEW THIS YEAR: More Hours, Vacation-Friendly Schedule, Fully-Electronic Curriculum, Discounted Rates on Tutoring Club classes (Tutoring Club offers individualized instruction with tutors in our exclusive TutorAid programs for math, reading, writing, SAT and ACT preparation, study skills and more.)

Car pool to the bay area – how and why

For many people who settled down in the San Ramon – Pleasanton “Outer Bay” area, the “compromise”, if you will, has been with the commute. Though Tri valley is considered within the catchment area of the economic engine that is Silicon valley, the commute could be anything but easy. But then where else would you find nice, new houses at the price with top notch education?
Anyhow (with the premise that majority of Indians work in IT) some people do get to do a manageable commute to the local Chevron or Sybase or Oracle offices. But for a vast majority, if they don’t get to work from home, there is no other way but to head out on 680 or 580. Yes, you can get to beat the traffic if you head out at 6 or 11. Or it may not be as bad if after a short commute, BART can take you to the city.
But Car pools are surely something that come to the rescue of the commuters who have to go to bay area. There is a carpool lane from Dublin to Livermore (from Airway Blvd to GreenVille Rod), but its eastbound only, so only helps in evening rush hour as people head home to Livermore, and even beyond to Tracy. During office hours, the car pool between Alcosta and Livorna help commuters between Alamo to San Ramon on 680. Finally if you are travelling southbound on 680, from start of Fremont uptil Milpitas (Route 84 to 237) you can enjoy the carpool, again during office rush hours.
Unfortunately the 580/680 intersection in Pleasanton/Dublin is a real bottle neck during rush hours, and there is no carpool till Hayward on 580 or till Sunol on 680. Many Pleasanton folks are rather happy to take Sunol Blvd exit to reach their homes in the evenings. Fortunately, 880 does have carpool lanes, and there is battle still to be won once you reach 880.

So over all riding with someone else does make sense, and thus a need to turn the car into a ‘high occupancy vehicle’. There also are Park and Ride points like in Danville (Sycamore Valley Rd & 680) or Dublin (Koll Center and Tassajara Rd), Pleasanton (Johnson Dr and Stoneridge), San Ramon (Bollinger Canyon & 680) and a few in Livermore where you can meet carpool partners or your vanpool in a central location. Many lots also feature easy access to transit connections. You don’t even need a car to use a Park & Ride lot since many lots offer bike lockers. Car pooling is convenient and less-expensive, and you can even cross toll bridges for free. Additionally, carpooling helps reduce vehicle emissions to help keep our air cleaner. All you need is one or two other people to make it work (who work close by and have same timings). Carpool with neighbors, coworkers, family, friends. If you are looking for any desi people to carpool with, feel free to use this site to connect as many people search for car pool partners. There are many other websites – the ridematch services, classifieds, Craigslist, etc. which can help you to find a partner. And don’t frown when you search on google and even find people discussing issues like how do or would spouses react if you carpool with a person of opposite sex in routine! Go carpooling!

Montessori Preschool and Day care in Windemere

Little Genius Montessori is a home based Montessori Preschool opening in your Windemere neighborhood with programs designed to meet the needs of your children.

We have Preschool / pre-k programs using Montessori material. We are accepting applications for Fall 2010. Please visit our website for more information. We have early bird special discount.


India Independence Day 15th August Celebrations 2010

Happy Independence Day 2010
Happy Independence Day 2010

The Federation of Indian Associations is again organizing the grand mela and parade on August 15th 2010 (Sunday) at 39439 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA, 94536 (Corner of Paseo Padre and Walnut Ave). The Festival of India Banquet Night would be held at San Ramon Marriott.

The booth price at the festival ranges from $550 for a non-profit to Corporate for $5,000. This big festival in the San Fransisco Bay Area, California, showcases and shares India’s rich culture and heritage through various events. Over 120 booths will feature Indian arts and crafts, Indian clothes, jewelry, food, and more. The parade is a work of art featuring 15 floats representing different states of India, the Indian-American community and businesses organizations. The grand carnival will feature Bollywood star Aftab Shivdasani and Bollywood Singer Arpita Mukerjee who will serve as Grand Marshals leading the parade. Parade assembly is at 12 noon sharp, with entertainment and shows set to commence at 2 p.m., continuing throughout the day.

  • For Parade, participants will line up on Capitol Avenue and proceed along Liberty Street onto Walnut Avenue.

    Parade Route
    Parade Route
  • COST: $5 general entrance. The health fair and Sunday’s parade are free. The tickets can be purchased at the gate for $5. Entry tickets need to be purchased separately for Saturday, August 14th, 2010 and Sunday, August 15th, 2010. Tickets will be valid for the day purchased only and need to be exchanged to wrist bands at the “On-line” ticketing window near the mela entrance. If you bought a $4 ticket online prior to Aug 13, get an printed email confirmation.
  • Festival kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday with a free health fair that includes consultations with more than 100 doctors and nurses
  • It costs about $250,000 to hold the two-day festival, the Bay Area’s largest Indo-American celebration
  • Organizers had to cancel the 2008 parade because of a lack of funds
  • Festival of India became an instant success when it started in 1992
  • More than 50,000 visitors expected to central Fremont
  • Celebrations will begin Friday, August 13 with an official flag raising ceremony at San Jose’ City Hall at 6:30 p.m
  • Parking available in neighboring commercial lots. See Parking Map for the Independence Day Festival in Fremont here. Parking Map 2010 Festival of India Fremont(courtesy fiaonline.org)

There will also be a Free Health Fair (10:00 am – 01:00 pm), Dance Competition, Kids Corner, Mela on Sat, August 14, 11am – 7pm at Fremont Hall of Justice Parking Lot at corner of Paseo Padre and Walnut Ave.
Dance Competition Entry Form Deadline is Fri, August 6, 11:30pm – Sat, August 7, 12:00am. The form can be accessed here.

2010 Grand Marshal is Aftab Shivdasani. Last year it was Mauli Dave (Singer)
Chief Guests this year are Jeevika Shah, Mrs. India 2004 and Arpita Mukerjee, Bollywood Singer
Indian Musical Extravaganza with SaReGaMaPa Finalist Mauli Dave

Jeevika Shah
Jeevika Shah
Aftab Shivdasani
Aftab Shivdasani
Arpita Mukerjee
Arpita Mukerjee

Time 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Festival Mela Stage

Festival of India Banquet Night
Place: San Ramon Marriott
Time: 8:00 pm
Music, DJ and Sumptuous Indian Dinner
FIA Members: Free
Tickets: $50/Person

Free Health Fair
10:00 am – 01:00 pm

Saturday, Aug 14, 2010

Free Health Fair

10:00 am – 01:00 pm

Mela (Fair)
10:00 am – 07:00 pm

Dance Competition
11:00 am – 05:00 pm

Dance Competition/Awards
05:00 pm – 06:00 pm

Sunday, Aug 15, 2010

Mela (Fair)
10:00 am – 07:00 pm

Cultural Program
11:00 am – 12:00 Noon

12:00 Noon – 2:00 pm

More details to follow…


Global Indian Technology Professional’s Association (GITPRO) is also celebrating India’s Independence Day (and its own Anniversary) as a free event on Sunday, August 15, 2010, 5:15-7:15 pm at Washington Park Hall, 840 W Washington Ave, Sunnyvale, California.

High Lights:
1. Journey and the Role of Indian Entrepreneurs in USA/India
2. 1857 the First War of Independence
3. Hindi Patriotic Songs Cultural Program

Sunnyvale Hindu Temple – Cultural Event on the occasion of Independence of India
By Mile Sur Mera Tumhara Group
Sunday 15th Aug, 2010 4:00PM – 6:30PM
(Free & Snacks will be served)
Also, there would be a Hasya Kavi Sammelan by famous humorous Poets from India on Saturday 14th August 2010 8:00PM (its a ticketed event)
Celebrating Independence Day of India, Big Cinemas will be screening a number of popular Bollywood movies free for cine lovers across the US.

Movies like ‘Rang De Basanti’, ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’, ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Chak De India’, ‘Namaste London’, ‘Rock On’, ‘Sivaji’, ‘Dasavatharam’, and ‘Indian’ have been lined up for screening in 11 theaters for the week long ‘Spirit of my Tiraga’ beginning August 7.

BIG Cinemas is also the in-cinema partner for India Day Parade Fremont.

Celebrate July 4 – but don’t keep fireworks for Diwali

Or the best is – July 4 Fireworks: Watch Them, Don’t Buy Them
Though buying and using fireworks is legal in Dublin (but not in Pleasanton, Livermore, San Ramon or Danville) – note that its so for celebrating the Independence Day, and not for other festivals like Diwali for Indians or Japanese hanabi taikai. So if you are harboring any ideas to buy the crackers this week for the dual purpose, drop the idea and instead enjoy the fireworks show in one of the Dublin parks, or the city organized celebrations in other cities (as noted below).

Use of “safe and sane” fireworks, which carry a state fire marshal’s seal and do not explode, fly or burn excessively hot, are legal on private property in just a dozen Bay Area communities, including Dublin where Safe and Sane Fireworks can Be Used in Single Family Neighborhoods and Designated Parks on the Fourth of July.
But fireworks purchased in those cities can be set off only in those cities.

Designated Parks in Dublin For Use of Safe and Sane Fireworks
1. The Alamo Creek Park (Dougherty Road & Willow Creek Drive)
2. Dublin Sports Grounds (Dublin Blvd. & Civic Plaza)
3. Emerald Glen Park (Tassajara & Gleason Drive)
The City of Dublin has designated the 3 Parks where the use of Safe and Sane Fireworks will be permitted between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the 4th of July Only!!!
NO FIREWORKS OF ANY TYPE, including “Safe and Sane”, will be permitted at many City Facilities, Parks or Public Schools. See list here:

The City of Dublin does not allow the use of any fireworks in multi-family housing areas or any other City facilities, schools, and non-designated parks. Please do NOT hesitate to report any non-permitted use of fireworks to Dublin Police Services at (925) 462-1212.
Fireworks are sold by non-profit groups located in the City of The application process for a fireworks booth begins in April of each year.

Many of the non-profit organizations in Dublin, CA, support their community service efforts by selling fireworks every year. This year, the sale of “safe and sane” fireworks starts on Monday, June 28. The list of participating organizations include:
Rotary Club of Dublin 7944 Dublin Boulevard (Hooters)
Wells Band 4400 Tassajara Road (Safeway at Waterford)
Dublin Partner in Education 4400 John Monego Court (GMC Buick)

Personal fireworks use, which is illegal throughout Contra Costa County which includes San Ramon and Danville. Offenders could face $500 in fines for the smaller fireworks, while possession of more potent fireworks like M-80s or cherry bombs could lead to felony charges, fines of up to $5,000 and jail time.

San Ramon’s “Red, White and Blue Picnic and Fireworks” is Sunday, July 4 in the city’s Central Park at 12501 Alcosta Blvd. Families are welcomed to enjoy a picnic in the beautiful park setting beginning at 1 p.m., with the fireworks display beginning at 9:30 p.m. For more information, call the City of San Ramon Parks and Community Services Department at 925-973-3200.

The Pleasanton Police Department and the Livermore Pleasanton Fire Department want to ensure everyone has a safe Independence Day and remind you that ALL FIREWORKS, INCLUDING SAFE AND SANE, ARE ILLEGAL IN PLEASANTON. Violations are taken very seriously and violators can expect to receive a citation and have their fireworks seized.

Its rumoured that one can always go to China Towns or Mexico to buy fireworks anytime, but a good place to learn what’s legal and illegal in each state is the American Pyrotechnics Assoc website http://www.americanpyro.com/State%20Laws%20(main)/PDFStates/california.pdf

Despite the ban of fireworks that exist in most cities in the area, including San Jose, you won’t have to go very far in your city to see somebody shooting off fireworks. “Illegal fireworks are available everywhere now,” said Gilroy Fire Marshal Jackie Bretschneider, whose city is one of the few to allow the so-called “safe and sane” fireworks. The debate on banning fireworks is starting to heat up. One Northern California city is resuming fireworks sales after reasoning there was no way to enforce a ban. But officials in most cities are sticking by theirs, insisting the bans are the only way to prevent a rash of fires and injuries.

List of 275 Communities Permitting State-Approved Fireworks


Conversation Hindi Camp in Pleasanton

Organized by US Hindi Organization (USHA), the Conversational Hindi camp will provide a creative, fun, and interactive environment and focus on developing conversational Hindi skills.


· Unique exposure to Hindi
· Practice spoken Hindi through theater, real life situations, indoor and outdoor games and peer-to-peer conversing
· Animation Movies & Songs
· Provides both fun and learning
· Step up to a higher speaking level
· Lots of activities for the whole day!

OPEN TO ALL PUBLIC / Grades K-8 / June21-June25/ 9am – 4pm
code: 94588. Camp. Carden West School.
June 21-June 25 – 9am-4p / $335.00
Instructor(s): Manju Mishra
Location: Carden West School(Pleasanton)
For Registration email [email protected] or call (650)493-1566
Other classes in also being held in Belmont, Fremont, Palo Alto, Pleasanton, San Jose, Sunnyvale

Madhu Bhasha Kendra in also organizing Hindi camps in Fremont, Palo Alto, Los Altos, San Jose and Saratoga
Schedule is here http://www.hindionline.org/tentative_schedule.htm

Or as always, India Community Center has summer camps in a wide range. Check http://www.indiacc.org/culturalcamps

Indian movie theater scene warming up in bay area

Watching Indian movies in Theaters in the bay area is a warming up scene – but with all the desi population, it surely has potential to hotten up. For tri-valley folks, not only did recently Naz and IMC got acquired by Big Cinemas, and reopened, at only 20 miles away, the Brenden 14 theater in Concord across the street from Swagat is also beginning to show a hindi movie or two.
(If you can’t find the hindi movie listing on yahoomovies, you will find the timings on fandango.com. You can even get two tickets for 14.99 in Concord, Modesto or Vacaville Costco. There are over 800 free parking spaces.
As an illustration, Rajneeti is playing from July 4 (1:05 4:35 8:10), next to Sex and the City 2. They are also developing some reputation for some sumptuous samasos they have on sale with the Hindi show.)

AMC Mercado 20 in Santa Clara, UA Emery Bay in Emeryville, Century 25 Union Landing in Union City, and Cinedome 7 Newark also show first run Hindi movies.

When Naz cinema closed in Fremont early this year, there were rumours that it closed due to rat infestations! But no, it actually got purchased by Big Cinemas, Anil Ambanis entertainment company which is out there purchasing all such theatres in the US.
For all its notoriety with filth, you could actually book tickets in advance online, and they were also pragmatic enough to often show subtitles. What if bad customer service was part of the entertainment!
The replacement of Naz, Big Cinemas Fremont 7 opened in Feb. They apparently have $5 Tuesdays, Real tickets! (Not raffle tickets!), there is a courteous staff that tells you to enjoy the show, and smiles!! They offer Matinee for all films before 6:00 pm — and they actually have shows before 6pm!

  • Big Cinemas Fremont 7, 39160 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont.
  • UA Emory Bay Stadium 10, 6330 Christie Ave, Emeryville.
  • Century 25 Union Landing, 32100 Union Landing, Union City.
  • Cinedome 7, 6000 New Park Mall, Newark.
  • AMC Mercado 20, 3111 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara.
  • Brenden 14 1985 Willow Pass Road Concord.

Hopefully more can be added to this list soon!

Relocate to India job fair

24th June, 2010:  Relocate to India, Job Fair

When: 24 June 2010
6pm to 9pm

http://www.siliconindia.com/ events/june24caindex.htm

Where: Biltmore Hotel , Suite 215 Laurelwod Road Santa Clara , CA 95054

Jobs in India for returning professionals

Companies in India are looking to hire professionals with US experience / education. The SiliconIndia Job Fair 2010 will bring together recruiters, HR Managers and candidates who are looking for that right company and opportunity to return to India You can meet recruiters at their booths personally and discuss employment opportunities. It is not just software anymore; companies are also looking for specialized skills in systems, chip design, testing, senior level project management marketing, business development and much more? This is 7th year of these one of a kind job fairs where professionals returning to India can interview with hiring companies in U.S. only. From our previous events, more then half the attendees’ return back to India in 3 months with job offers. There are half the attendees’ return back to India in 3 months with job offers. There are company’s specific relocation packages to India. By industry estimates, more than 20,000 professional Indians have returned back to India in last 2 years. It’s much more convenient to get the dream job with a MNC in India while in U.S. at SiliconIndia Job fair then looking for a job after landing in India.

Cherry or fruit picking near Tri Valley

Brentwood – which is about 30 miles away is quite a farmland with many a farms for Cherry or fruit picking.  We decided to try it out as well.

From Livermore Costco, its about 30 minutes away, going up north on Vosco. A friend has visited Nunn Better farms for Cherry picking last week, so decided to try out the same.

One interesting thing was that there are no good websites for specific farms – the most useful is a Trail Map here: http://www.harvest4you.com/pdfs/HT2010_mapwcat.pdf

Some Yelp reviews made the place sound like very farm-ish. You’ll get dirty, there’s too much sun, etc. – though it didn’t turn out to be exactly like that.  Anyhow, we went there a little late in the evening (though the best time is to go early morning).  The drive was interesting, with the mostly single lane Vasco Road meandering around a load of Windmills of all varieties.  The Nunn Better Farms is about 3-4 miles ‘inside’ Brentwood – so as you pass some other farms, you’re are like this one better be good. They have posted ample signs directing you to the farm, so that also raised expectations. Over all, it was an OK experience. Not sure if its normal, but a good majority of the Cherries had that line that tends to divide the cherry into two lobes. Not many actually had two lobes.
At USD2.50 a pound, it seemed a little expensive in this cherry season. The cost at the local grocery or Costco is same – with better quality. But well, then, its also some cherry picking experience with the kids (that gets you there to begin with).
They stopped people from coming in at around 4:15 PM – and most of the other farms close at 4:00 PM for U-pick. For the Picked fruit, there are stalls outside most farms where you can buy already picked fresh fruit, but the prices are again no better than the local stores. You’d also find local olive oil, in addition to fruits on the sale. We picked up some white pear and peaches and blackberries – mostly pretty good.

So cherry/berry picking is surely something to do in Summers if you live in Tri Valley.

Cricket to continue at San Ramon park, but hours limited

In response to resident concerns, the San Ramon Recreation commissioners modified the Cricket hours at Monarch Park to 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. once the school is opened for play in August and stipulated that the 240-member association strictly adhere to the time constraints. The league will play cricket on Saturdays at Windemere Ranch Middle School, while league play on Sundays would remain at Monarch.

Noise, traffic and not being able to use the park when they want are just some of the complaints that neighbors of Monarch Park on North Monarch Road have about organized games of the sport made popular in Britain, India, Pakistan, Australia and other countries.
The San Ramon Cricket Association rents the Monarch Park cricket pitch — the only one in the city — to host its league games on weekends from March through November. For about the past two years, games have taken place from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Monarch Park.
As of Aug. 1, the commission would permit league cricket play on Saturdays at Windemere Ranch Middle School, while league play on Sundays would remain at Monarch.

The parks staff is also asking that the cricket pitch — the only one in the city — remain at Monarch Park and be rented to sports organizations for group play. Parks staff would also like to look at possibly adding a cricket pitch to the yet-to-be built Rancho San Ramon Community Park. The 35-acre Dougherty Valley park is not expected to be built for a few years.

“We love playing cricket,” said Zeeshan Khan, a 12-year resident of Gale Ranch, the subdivision where Monarch Park is located. “We’re as much as privileged to live in San Ramon as our neighbors are.”
The vast majority of the association members, composed of about 70 percent of San Ramon residents, hail from countries including India and Pakistan, where the sport, played on a 360-degree field, is hugely popular and part of the heritage.
Following the vote, which Commissioner David Ernest opposed, league leaders said they were pleased.
“This is a very positive outcome for the SRCA,” said Sridhar Verose, association president. “We are happy the city commission is supporting us.”
But some neighbors said the decision failed to address several issues.
Stephen Moy said the small neighborhood park on North Monarch Road was never intended for adult league play — of any sport — and that cricket players deserve a more suitable location.
Samantha Finnegan, a mother to children ages 2 and 4, said she remains concerned about safety after seeing the cricket ball fly into the playground area and cannot use the park on weekends when she is off work because the fields are occupied.
“It has nothing to do with cricket as a sport,” she said. “To me, it’s 100 percent about the use of the park as a neighborhood park for my family.”
Although the commission’s decision will stand unless appealed to the City Council, the location issue will be revisited when the Parks and Community Services Department updates its master plan, said Director Karen McNamara.
One potential site for a permanent cricket field is the 35-acre Rancho San Ramon Community Park slated to be built in the next five or six years by Dougherty Valley developers.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_15094592 By Rebecca F. Johnson Correspondent Posted: 05/15/2010 05:24:32 PM PDT
http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_15063841 By Sophia Kazmi Contra Costa Times Posted: 05/11/2010 03:56:48 PM PDT

Punjabi Giddha dance competition

Perhaps nowhere even in urban Punjab would you see such a fervor for the local folk dance Giddha as you would see in the Bay Area.
Six local Giddha teams get together with teams from LA, DC, Dallas and Seattle to participate in the 2nd Annual West Coast
Giddha Competition
. This competition is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate the beauty and spirit of the Punjabi culture. This event serves as a night to celebrate the rich tradition of Giddha and Punjab.
The competition this year will take place on May 22, 2010 at 6:00 P.M. at the state-of-the-art Castro Valley Center for the
Arts in Castro Valley, CA. This year about 20-25 teams could be submitting applications for the competition. Months of preparation, long practices, and devotion make the competition highly competitive.

Saturday May 22, 2010
5:00 PM
Castro Valley Center of Arts
19501 Redwood Road, Castro Valley CA 94546
Parking is available next to the theatre.

There is unfortunately a $20 ticket to the event; However the Tor Punjaban Di™ II Committee claims that it will also use portions of the proceeds from the event to help fund youth events and organizations, aiming to promote education and awareness of the Punjabi culture via music and dance. As well they have already pledged to financially assist out of state teams that qualify for the competition. Tickets will be sold at locations throughout the Bay Area.

Giddha is a popular folk dance of women in Punjab and exhibits teasing, fun and exuberance of Punjabi life. The dance is derived from the ancient ring dance and is just as energetic as Bhangra and at the same time it manages to creatively display feminine grace, elegance and elasticity. Giddha is essentially danced in circles. Girls form rings and one of the dancers sit in the centre of this ring with a dholki (drum).

The vitality of Bhangra can also be seen in the Giddha dance of the women of Punjab. This dance translates into gestures, bolian-verses of different length satirizing politics. The dancers enact verses called bolis, which represent folk poetry at its best. The subject matter of these bolis is wide ranging indeed – everything from arguments with the sister-in-law to political affairs figure in these lively songs – bolis can also cover themes from nature to excesses committed by the husband and his relatives, some talk about love affairs to the loneliness of a bride separated from her groom.

No musical instruments except perhaps a dholak accompanies Giddha and provides the rhythm for the dance. The distinctive hand-claps of the dancers is a prominent feature of this art-form. Giddha is a very vigorous folk dance and like other such dances of Northern India is taxing on the legs of the artists. (from Sikhwiki)

Some pictures of the event from last year (copyright G&H Studio)

Giddha - Bay Area Competition - Punjabi Dance
Giddha - Bay Area Competition - Punjabi Dance
Giddha - Bay Area Competition - Punjabi Dance
Giddha - Bay Area Competition - Punjabi Dance

Basant Kites Festivals in Bay Area

Spring! It’s that time of the year when India and Indians everywhere come alive in a riot of vivacious colors to herald spring! As India is a country of diverse cultures there are many varied festivals to celebrate the arrival of spring in the different parts of the country! Basically most festivals have a religious fervor to it and are symbolic of victory of good over evil !
Holi, and then Basant Panchami.
During spring in the northern states of Haryana and Punjab, the mustard fields are in full bloom and resembles yellow carpets laid out on acres of land . Hence, yellow is the color of the festival and people wear yellow clothes and fly yellow kites on the rooftops after a religious ceremony dedicated to the Goddess of learning! People fly kites in the nights as well using searchlights!
The spring festival Uttarayan of Gujarat in north India falls at a time ,when the sun and the wind flow ,is favorable for flying kites!

In the Bay Area, there are at least two festivals being celebrated.

Basant Kite Festival, Baylands Park in Sunnyvale, Sunday, May 16, 2010
“We are gearing up for the Basant Kite Festival. This year for the very first time we will be celebrating this cultural tradition, common in India and Pakistan, by bringing the Silicon Valley Pakistani and Indian communities together. Every year at this event we fly desi kites, have a kite flying competition, music program at the center stage, dancing (bhangra and others), children games and activities, vendor booths and stalls, food booths, etc.”

Basant Kites Festival Sunnyvale 2010
Basant ites Festival Sunnyvale 2010

Kids ‘n Kites Festival, Central Park, Fremont, Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The City of Fremont Parks and Recreation Department is holding its annual Kids ‘n Kites Festival on Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival, presented by American Swim Academy, is located within Central Park, next to Aqua Adventure Waterpark.

The festival is free to the public, and includes free kites to the first 2,500 children in attendance. There will be live entertainment on the main stage, interactive booths highlighting summer activities, play area for the kids, food, and more. The festival has something fun for everyone!

Kids N Kites Festival Fremont 2010
Kids N Kites Festival Fremont 2010

Baisakhi Mela 2010 in Concord

Baisakhi Mela 2010 or 7th Annual Diversity Spring Festival will be held on Saturday May 01 2010 at the Todos Santos Park Plaza in downtown Concord from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The mela will feature dances, and programs for children.
May 1st 2010 10:00am to 5:00pm
Free Entry & Food
Todos Santos Park Plaza
Downtown Concord
California 94520
(off of Willow Pass Rd. Corner to Grant St.)
Presented By: South Asian Behavioral Health and Training Foundation – SABH CENTER.
A Non-Profit California agency providing residential & mental health services to mentally & developmentally disabled, new immigrants & seniors
The festival is sponsored by the Therapeutic Residential Services, and the Federation of Inod-American Association of Northern California.

Baisakhi Mela 2010 or 7th Annual Diversity Spring Festival will be held on Saturday May 01 2010 at the Todos Santos Park Plaza in downtown Concord from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The mela will feature dances, and programs for children.

  • May 1st 2010 10:00am to 5:00pm
  • Free Entry & Food

Todos Santos Park Plaza

Downtown Concord

California 94520

(off of Willow Pass Rd. Corner to Grant St.)

Presented By: South Asian Behavioral Health and Training Foundation – SABH CENTER.

A Non-Profit California agency providing residential & mental health services to mentally & developmentally disabled, new immigrants & seniors

The festival is sponsored by the Therapeutic Residential Services, and the Federation of Inod-American Association of Northern California.

Summer camps for Children

With school vacations right round the corner, mommies and daddies could use some the information here for planning out the vacations – perhaps more constructively than doing some of the other things. Of course this is more if you live in Pleasanton/San Ramon area (and sorry, nothing particularly desi here, other than that you should definitely expect a few desi kids in these summer camps – for more India related camps, see at the bottom):

2010 Summer Science Topics
Students today are looking for challenges! Spectrum of Science is helping elementary age children develop a competitive edge while giving them fun based science designed to instill confidence in science & to turn learning into play! Our interdisciplinary curriculum incorporates more than just “science”. Lessons are designed to stimulate youngsters to express their own originality & to motivate them to see their world in a totally new way! Projects & activities are creative, entertaining & imaginative & create passion while expanding their minds!
Summer Camp – This Land Is Your Land 2010
This Land is Your Land Summer Day Camp for children ages 5 – 15 blends the exciting science and nature studies developed by Sarah Shaffer, with art, music, hiking, swimming, and outdoor games. Our goal is for every child to have a summer filled with outrageous fun in a beautiful, natural setting. We say, “No child left indoors!”
Roughing It Day Camp
This premier all-outdoors program is located at the Lafayette Reservoir. Instruction for all abilities in horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, fishing, adventure and more. Longer sessions designed for growth, friendships, and fun for every camper!
Galileo Summer Quest
is a fun summer day camp for entering 5th—8th graders, where students dive into subjects they are passionate about or want to explore. Campers choose from a selection of inspiring Majors and Minors taught by experienced instructors. They also develop their teamwork skills, while creating strong connections with peers who share their interests.

2010 Summer Science Topics

Students today are looking for challenges! Spectrum of Science is helping elementary age children develop a competitive edge while giving them fun based science designed to instill confidence in science & to turn learning into play! Our interdisciplinary curriculum incorporates more than just “science”. Lessons are designed to stimulate youngsters to express their own originality & to motivate them to see their world in a totally new way! Projects & activities are creative, entertaining & imaginative & create passion while expanding their minds!


Summer Camp – This Land Is Your Land 2010

This Land is Your Land Summer Day Camp for children ages 5 – 15 blends the exciting science and nature studies developed by Sarah Shaffer, with art, music, hiking, swimming, and outdoor games. Our goal is for every child to have a summer filled with outrageous fun in a beautiful, natural setting. We say, “No child left indoors!”


Roughing It Day Camp

This premier all-outdoors program is located at the Lafayette Reservoir. Instruction for all abilities in horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, fishing, adventure and more. Longer sessions designed for growth, friendships, and fun for every camper!


Galileo Summer Quest

is a fun summer day camp for entering 5th—8th graders, where students dive into subjects they are passionate about or want to explore. Campers choose from a selection of inspiring Majors and Minors taught by experienced instructors. They also develop their teamwork skills, while creating strong connections with peers who share their interests.


Camps being Organized in Milpitas India Community Center (a good 30-45 minutes drive away from Tri Valley):
SUMMER CAMPS – June 14th – August 27th, 2010

  • ICC Sports & Table Tennis Camp
  • Entry / Beginner Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Advanced Level
  • ICC Cultural and Speciality Summer Camps
  • Cultural Immersion Camp
  • Hindi Camp
  • Crafts of India Camp
  • Community Service & Leadership Camp
  • Movie Magic Camp
  • Bollywood Dance Camp
  • Invent a Bot Robotics & Animation Camp
  • BollyHop Camp
  • Space and Rocketry Camp
  • Robot Factory Camp
  • Vedic Math Camp
  • Gandhi Camp
  • Chess Camp
  • Treasures of the Taj Camp

Check these camps here.

Other than these there are Dance Camps being organized by likes of monasampat.com

Bollywood & Indian dance classes in Tri Valley

Today, there are many dance academy or classes in the tri valley cities of San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, Danville and Livermore. They tend to primarily cater to a growing tendency of parents to have their children train in some form of bollywood dancing, as well as some are more culturally serious and go into the dephths of Bharatnatyam and Kathan, the traditional dance forms.

Typically youngsters are attending these classes on weekends. The classes are held in one rented dance studio or another. They pick up one or two of the recent bollywood numbers and have the class learn steps to the music. The classes typically end in a performance in one of the auditoriums in the area. For the final performance, parents buy tickets which cover the cost of renting the facility and arranging for dresses, etc.

Like any other kind of basic training anywhere else, these classes cost USD 10-15 per hour (per week) – and are typically arranged for 8-10 weeks a time. Some of the companies are local to Bay Area, while some have national presence. While a couple are local programmes, for the classical forms.

Mona Sampath Dance Company
Bollywood Dance, Fitness – all levels
Dublin & Pleasanton Classes
Dublin Fitness 2000: 7373 Village Pkway, Dublin, CA 94568
Pleasanton Spark: 3550 Bernal Avenue, Pleasanton, CA 94566
Rented Studio

Gurus of Dance
Bollywood Dance
Fitness 2000 7373 Village Pkwy Dublin, California 94568

Arya Dance Academy
Nationwide presence – classical dance to bollywood – Troupes, Pageants
Fitness 2000 7373 Village Pkwy Dublin, CA

Stepz Bollywood Dance
Dance and fitness – Bollywood dance
1901 Camino Ramon, Suite C, Danville, CA 94526
Taal Studio 6715-E Dublin Blvd, Dublin, CA 94568

Nupoor Dances
Taal Dance Studio, 6715 Dublin Blvd., Dublin, CA 94568

Vrindavan Indian Dance Academy, Dr. Bindu S. Shankar
Bharatanatyam and Folk Dances
c/o San Ramon Valley Dance Academy
101 Ryan Industrial Court,
San Ramon, CA 94583.

Kalaikoil Dance and Arts of India, Swetha Dixit
Bharatanatyam, Carnatic Vocal, Hindu Vedic chantin
6715-G Dublin Blvd, Dublin Ca 94568
Livermore – near the Hindu Temple

4Ever Dance Studio
Saira Khan – Bombay Jam, Meera Sarkar Riar – Kathak, Karan Riar – Bollywood
6635 Dublin Blvd Dublin, CA 94568

Riar Academy of Performing Arts
Bollywood and Kathak classes in Dublin, San Ramon, Livermore
6635 Dublin Blvd Dublin, CA 94568

Earthly Delights Fitness
7063 Commerce Cir Pleasanton, CA 94588

Desi nanny in San Ramon

Its been interesting to note how many people search for (and hence are looking for) desi nanny services in San Ramon/Dublin area.

If you a desi nanny looking for more work,  or are looking for a desi nanny, please use the comments space below to share it with others!

You could also try Sittercity.

Difficult to find a desi or Indian in this website in the tri-valley area, but you never know when someone adds!

Also try craigslist here:


Handyman services in Dublin, San Ramon, Pleasanton

Its a known fact that many desi’s can go to extremes when it comes to managing small household repairs and handyman kind of work. While many prefer to offload or outsource such services to a handyman, others can go to great pain to work themselves to repair anything, small or big.

Typically high income double salary professionals would prefer to call in a handyman – there are enough other things keeping them busy.

A network of referrals always helps here. You don’t always want an unknown person from craigslist in your kitchen helping fix something, or painting your child’s bedroom.

So please share here any handyman that has worked for you and you would prefer recommending to other fellas!

Yahoo group for desi community in tri-valley

This is a group for Desi folks in the East Bay Area ( mainly San Ramon , Dublin , Pleasanton , Livermore , Danville ) to meet other fellow desis. Everyone is encouraged to participate and organize events for the group. Our intention is bring together people from the East Indian / Pakistani community in the East Bay area . So if you are looking for a place to interact with people from India or the Indian Continent, to make new friends, you’r in the right place.

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EastBayDesi/

Sample of questions being addressed:

Can you please refer any good driving instructor here in San Ramon? I prefer someone who can come to San Ramon and teach my wife.
Ladies dinner on oct 23rd fri evening at 6:30pm
Looking for a Nanny
Feedback on Pleasanton KinderCare
Need Vegetarian Catering service
  • Can you please refer any good driving instructor here in San Ramon? I prefer someone who can come to San Ramon and teach my wife.
  • Ladies dinner on oct 23rd fri evening at 6:30pm
  • Looking for a Nanny
  • Feedback on Pleasanton KinderCare
  • playdates
  • Need Vegetarian Catering service

Holi celebration in Dublin, San Ramon, Pleasanton Mar 7, 2010

Holi kab hai…Kab hai holi…?!

For the second year, the Tri Valley India Association is organizing the Festival of Colors ‘Holi Dhamal’  in the Dublin, Pleasanton, San Ramon area. The Holi itself is on Mar 01 (Monday) as per holifestival.org and is being celebrated widely in the San Fransisco Bay Area.

  • When: Mar 7th, 2010 (Sunday)
  • Location: Emerald Glen Park, Dublin, CA (Use 4201 Central Parkway, Dublin CA – 94568 for GPS/Online directions)
  • Time: 11:00pm – 2:00 pm
  • Cost: Adults $7; Kids (4 -12 yrs):$5; Kids 4 and under: Free; Group of 10 of more -Adult $5; Group of 10 or more – Kids $4  (Apparently Cost includes  colors)

No water guns allowed

Email [email protected] for tickets or more Info

Tickets Available At:

  • Kamal Spices (Pleasanton) – 6700 Santa Rita Road Pleasanton, CA 94588-3467 (925) 227-1600
  • New India Bazaar (Dublin) – 4552 Dublin Boulevard Dublin, CA 94568-7564 (925) 875-1692
  • New India Plaza (Dublin) – 6040 Dougherty Rd (at Houston Pl) Dublin, CA 94568 (925) 829-9950
  • ONLINE at https://www.sulekha.com/ticketsV3/buytickets.aspx?cid=588997
Holi - Festival of Colors Celebration 2010 - at Emerald Glen Park, Dublin CA (Pleasanton San Ramon Livermore Danville - Bay Area)
Holi - Festival of Colors Celebration 2010 - at Emerald Glen Park, Dublin CA (Pleasanton San Ramon Livermore Danville - Bay Area)


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Career Neworking Group in San Ramon


This group is primarily for people living in the San Ramon, Dublin & Pleasanton areas which include large communities like Windemere and Gale Ranch. The primary purpose is to provide a forum for people to meet other like-minded individuals face-to-face in a friendly environment and foster career-oriented professional networking..

This Group will help those who want to improve their careers as well as those who are looking for work.. Topics of discussion include, typical interview questions/answers, technical discussions, presentations, work-place issues, job sectors etc.Occasionally, we have guest speakers as well.
The members also notify the group of important career oriented topics, seminars, networking opportunities that they become aware of, from time to time.

If you are interested or if you think you can contribute something to this group, please let us know…This is a voluntary and non-profit activity and all programs are free to the participants.

India Republic Day 2010 Celebrations

India Republic Day (January 26) Celebrations will be on Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 6:00 PM at Newark Pavilion, 6430 Thornton Ave., Newark, CA 94560. There will be a cultural program, patriotic songs, followed by dinner with invited guests.
Contacts: www.fiaonline.org or 51O-938-8668.

Also announced are the 18th Festival of India and Parade Celebrations on Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 39439 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont (Corner of Paseo Padre and Walnut Ave – same location as previous years).

Organized by Federation of Indo Americans of Northern California.


Desi Indian New Year Parties 2010

No, the Trivalley area still does not have the critical mass of Desis to successfully host a party on its own. Private get-togethers for sure, but not the kinds where an entrepreneur can take initiative to put some classy entertainment together, book a party place, and take the risk of selling enough tickets.

But its apparent that almost all the better known Bay Area desi spots will have one or more parties being thrown together. Works for families and groups, and partners and singles. A DJ and dance floor is apparently the minimum denominator; some of the higher end ones have a celebrity or two visiting as well.

This year can drive to Fremont, Milpitas, Sunnywale, Newark, San Jose, Concord, or even Sacramento! In the coming year or two, hopefully we will see a party right here in San Ramon, Dublin or Pleasanton.

Leave behind 2009 in style, enjoy the evening and entertain yourself!
Here is a quick list of what events are scheduled in the Bay Area to welcome the new year 2010:

Holiday Inn – San Jose
New Year 2010 Program Highlight: Dance Performance by Kashmera Shah and Stand-up Comedy
General Tickets – $75.00

Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara
New Year 2010 Program Highlight: Performance by Upen Patel , Celebrity Fashion Show
Minimum $75.00

Diamond Palace , Fremont
New Year 2010 Program Highlight: Sukshinder Shinda, Micki Narula
Tickets $99

India Community Center , Milpitas
New Year 2010 Program Highlight: Stand-Up Comedy, Dance
Tickets $79

The Diamond Palace, Fremont
New Year 2010 Program Highlight: Andhra Dance, Telugu DJ, Tambola
General Tickets – $59.00

City Beach, Fremont
New Year 2010 Program Highlight: Akhil Tatreja DJ and Remix
General Tickets – $69.00

Udupi Palace, Newark
General Tickets – $25.00
New Year 2010 Program Highlight: DJ – AR Rahman Beats

Hilton Concord Hotel, Concord
New Year 2010 Program Highlight: Live Band, DJ, Professional Photographer
General Tickets – $65.00

Hilton Hotel, Sacramento
New Year 2010 Program Highlight: Multiple Ball Rooms, DJs
General Tickets – $65.00

Sneha – Banquet Hall, Sunnyvale
New Year 2010 Program Highlight: DJ, Dance
Tickets $50

Happy New Year!

Life in Tri-Valley