Association of Indo American’s (AIA), & Bolly 92.3 in association with Sanjiv Gupta (CPA) presented “Swades” celebrating India’s Independence Day on Aug 4th, 2018 at Santa Clara county Fairgrounds in San Jose. It was a unique outdoor festival, first of its kind and is supported by over 30 Indian organizations in Bay Area. Last year Swades was refreshingly endearing, visually stunning, totally engaging, and entertaining with pure patriotism all around & this year it is back much BIGGER and BETTER. This year, mega musical concert performed by legendary Bollywood music director, Bappi Lahiri, added a higher dimension to the event. The event was Grand Sponsored by Apex Consulting Services, Gold Sponsors are Onshore Kare, Wells Fargo, Fortune Insurance Service. Powered by: You Smile Dental. Sponsors include PNG Jewelers, New York Life, State Bank of India CA, Mantri Developers. The event was promoted by “The Fair”. Media Sponsor was “Virijallu” Telugu Radio station.
Over 20,000 guests attended the event throughout the day. The event started at 11AM and went all the way till 11PM. The event was fully vibrant throughout the day engaging everyone who attended; there were many activities such as live Character - Chhota Bheem & Chutki, non-stop cultural performances on the stage, sports competitions, petting zoo, DJ, several carnival games, slides for kids, Water Balls, Tea Cup ride, train rides, Etc. Additionally, the venue was decorated colorfully resembling Indian festive environment and with attractive colors. There were over 60 vendors at the venue promoting their products & services in the areas of clothing, jewelry, dentist, mehendi, real estate, after schools, banking, IT training & health services, etc.
One of the key mottos of Swades is to showcase and propagate Indian Culture and Art forms. Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Bhangra & Classical dances (by kids and adults), Foot tapping Bollywood and regional movie dances which was thoroughly entertained the audience.
About 100 local groups represented all the diverse music and dance forms in India through performances during the day, followed by a Grand Independence Day parade culminating in a flag-hoisting ceremony graced by notable dignitaries including Consul General of India Venkatesan Ashok, Bollywood Music Director Bappi Lahiri; Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose; Bob Wiecowski, California State Senator; Ash Kalra, California State Assemblymember; Kansen Chu’s office, California Assemblymember; Laura Smith, Sheriff of Santa Clara County; Rick Sung, Undersheriff of Santa Clara County; Lily Mei, Mayor of Fremont; Darcy Paul, Mayor of Cupertino; Rich Tran, Mayor of Milpitas; Liz Gibbons, Mayor of Cambell; Savita Vidhyanathan, Councilmember of Cupertino; Raj Salwan, Councilmember of Fremont; Hung Wei, Fremont Union High School District; Marico Sayoc, Former Mayor of Los Gatos; Orrin Mahoney, Former Mayor of Cupertino; Lalith Mathur, Almeda County Human Relations Commission; and many others.
Following the flag-hoisting and dignitaries addressing the gathering, mega musical directors Bappi Lahiri took over the stage and enthralled the audiences for over 2 hours with his non-stop musical performance. Many audience seen enthusiastically dancing and singing along with him throughout his show. Disco King Bappi Lahari mentioned he is extremely happy to see the patriotism and wondered if he was in India and he congratulated the AIA team for making it a memorable event.
Followed by Bappi’ s concert, DJ team by NDK Arts took over the stage and mesmerized the audience with lot of energetic songs and dances; pretty much entire crowd joined the dance.
Toddlers enjoyed themselves on the train rides, bouncy houses, petting zoos and pony rides, while youngsters tested their endurance on the trampolines and competed in races of running, quizzes, artwork, and Tug-O-War events.
Food vendors brought various delicacies with unique presentation under one roof. From Chaat, Biryani’s, Dosa, Jilebee, Pakoda, Dolka, Pav Bhaji, Chana Batura, Sugar cane juice, Ice cream etc. Popular restaurants at the venue included Biryaniz, Peacock Indian Cuisine, Cakes & Bakes, Chaat Bhavan, Dawat, Mantra India, Bombay to Goa, Arusuvai, Pepper Xpress, Kosta Curries, and Golnazar Ice Cream.
Over 30 community organizations representing all parts of India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari worked tirelessly to support AIA in making this event a grand success. AIA team also thanked all the sponsors for their continued support and the volunteers for their hard work and making the event a grand success.
The Association of Indo Americans is a non-profit organization providing a forum to explore the rich and diverse heritage of the Indian American community living in the United States. The mission of AIA is to foster and promote cultural and social interactions among its members, facilitate cultural events and educational programs pertaining to the Indian subcontinent, celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of the Indian subcontinent and share this rich culture with the community.