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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

From Desi Beats to West Coast Feels: AIA Swades celebrates India’s 77th Independence Day in San Jose

Thousands flocked to the event, experiencing vibrant displays of Indian culture and immersing themselves in a celebration of unity
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Zenil Koovejee
Amidst an exhilarating atmosphere of national pride, attendees joyfully participate in a spirited flag parade, waving the Indian tricolor high, accompanied by the stirring melodies of Indian nationalism echoing in the background.

The echoes of the Indian national anthem, a sea of vibrant flags, and a fusion of culture and festivities painted the canvas of Discovery Meadow Park in San Jose on August 12.

This occasion was none other than the Association of Indo-Americans’ (AIA) Swades commemoration of India’s 77th Independence Day

“The spirit of India’s independence resonates far beyond its borders, and AIA Swades is a testament to the shared pride and joy that brings us all together,” said event attendee Kirtida Nannoo.

With a spectrum of engaging activities, lively performances, and an unwavering sense of community, AIA Swades took San Jose by storm, ushering in a memorable day of celebration and culture. 

“The rich cultural heritage of India was on full display at the event. From the majestic music to the lively vender booths, every aspect resonated with the essence of our homeland and reminded me of my roots, ” said event attendee Jignesh Kantilal.

The event showcased a diverse range of engagements, from a colossal flag walk that saw participants bolstering a 50 foot Indian flag, to enthralling dance-offs that fused contemporary beats with traditional moves. The day’s events also featured chess and carrom tournaments, Indian singing competitions, attendee karaoke, and much more.

“The festival is here in my Assembly District — right in the heart of San Jose. So, I am so happy that AIA brought the celebration here to San Jose and as you can see, it had a great turnout. People are having a great time here in the sun,” said California’s 27th Assembly District Representative Ash Kalra in a TV interview with Sakshi TV

In addition, nearing the conclusion of the Swades celebration, the crowd erupted in cheers as American singer and YouTuber Vidya Vox, renowned for her blend of Indian and Western musical elements, took center stage. 

“Music transcends borders and languages, and today, we were all united under its magical spell,” said Kantilal.

The festivities, however, were not limited to music and performances alone. The event featured a vivid art fest, carnival rides that ignited childlike joy, and even a petting zoo for the animal lovers. Also, authentic food stalls offered a culinary journey through India’s flavors, while shopping vendor booths showcased a plethora of authentic garments, jewelry, and accessories.

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  • A palpable sense of anticipation fills the air as the eager crowd gathers by the stage, eyes alight with excitement, eagerly awaiting the mesmerizing performance by YouTube sensation Vidya Vox.

  • Vidya Vox graces the stage with her magnetic presence, enthralling the audience as she delivers a soul-stirring rendition of one of her iconic songs.

  • Captivated by Vidya Vox’s enchanting performance, the audience revels in the moment, their phones held aloft to capture the magic of her music.

  • In the mesmerizing aura of Vidya Vox’s performance, the crowd sways in harmony, hands raised in unison, creating a breathtaking symphony of shared emotion and connection.

  • A kaleidoscope of rich fabrics and intricate designs beckons at the vendor booths, offering an array of clothing that seamlessly weaves tradition into contemporary fashion.

  • A wave of unity sweeps through the crowd as every attendee is handed a small hand flag, transforming the gathering into a sea of fluttering colors and shared patriotism.

“I truly appreciated the exquisite array of Indian necklaces, bangles, and earrings on display. As an Indian living in the Bay Area, accessing our traditional attire can be a challenge, making this event an even better opportunity to enrich our lives and heritage in a place we now call home,” said Nannoo

At its heart, the AIA Swades Independence Day Celebration demonstrated the power of culture, music, and unity in transcending borders and creating lasting connections. With the fusion of traditions, vibrant performances, and a sense of shared purpose, the celebration encapsulated the essence of India’s Independence Day while echoing the vibrant tapestry of San Jose’s multicultural spirit.

“This is such a wonderful event. The AIA puts on great celebrations throughout the Bay Area and I am so happy they brought this year’s Indian Independence Day Swades here to downtown San Jose. This is the biggest city in Northern California with a very large Indian community. [It is amazing] to see everyone coming here and enjoying themselves,” said Kalra.

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