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The Association of Pakistani Americans of Bolingbrook Celebrate 26th Anniversary of their Flag Hoisting Ceremony at the Taste of Pakistan Independence Day Celebration

Bolingbrook has a diverse population and has consistently ranked among the best places to live in America

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Flag Hoisting Ceremony
Flag Hoisting Ceremony for the 26th Anniversary by Consul General of Pakistan Faisal Niaz Tirmizi and Talat Rashid, founder of the APA with high caliber of the organization’s management, support of local community businesses, and encouragement from numerous elected officials
Chicago IL, August 30, 2017: Another historic Taste of Pakistan in Bolingbrook took place on Saturday, August 26, 2017.  Thousands flock to this city each year to witness one of the most well organized and well attended Pakistan Day celebrations in the USA.  This year was not different as the host organization the Association of Pakistani Americans of Bolingbrook (APA) yet gained another feather in their cap.
 
The event was hosted at the Bolingbrook performing arts center at 375 W. Briarcliff Rd. behind Village Hall.  This year the celebrities invited to perform was no other that the renowned entertainer from Pakistan Bushra Ansari and upcoming famous young singer Asim Azhar from Coke Studio.  Thousands of attendees packed the complex filled with food, entertainment, and music.  The event was sponsored by Dr. Nadim Longi and Dr. Moazzam Saeed of Advanced Pediatric Care.

The Association of Pakistani Americans (APA) hosted its 26th Anniversary Pakistan Day Celebration in Bolingbrook, IL. This smashing event brought out over Five thousands Pakistani Americans.

 
Bolingbrook has a diverse population and has consistently ranked among the best places to live in America by Money Magazine.  Among the honored guests Mayor of Bolingbrook Roger. C. Claar and Consul General of Pakistan Hon. Faisal N. Tirmizi had nothing but praise for the event and the city which has recently become a sister city to Sialkot Pakistan.  Also in attendance were representatives from DuPage Township, Village Trustees, Library Trustees, Judge Ben Braun, State Representative Natalie Manley, State Senator Pat McGuire, and Governor Rauner had sent a video and proclamation through Thomas Choi, Will County Board members, Bolingbrook Park District, State Rep Dave Olsen and others.

 

Among the honored guests Mayor of Bolingbrook Roger C. Claar and Talat Rashid, founder of the APA praise for the event that the city which has recently become a sister city to Sialkot Pakistan.

The official flag hoisting was conducted as the APA celebrated 26 years of raising the Pakistani flag at Village hall.  The ceremony was conducted by Mayor Claar and Consul General Tirmizi.  Founder of the APA Mr. Talat Rashid was honored with the proclamation from the Governor and received much praise from the guests for the vision and accomplishments of the APA.  The Master of Ceremonies was no other than Mir Ali, who continues to grow in his role of leading the future of the community and has done explicit work for the community.  Both Mr. Rashid and Mr. Ali were appointed to the Police and Fire and Plan Commission boards, respectively.
 
The Taste of Pakistan’s success has always been due to the hard work of its members and the unparalleled level of its sponsors.  Grand Sponsors were no other than Advanced Pediatric Care and the show was powered by Porto’s Peri Peri Chicken, a growing franchise in Chicago land.  Other sponsors included JF Labs President Mr. Ali Akhtar, RNA Corp. CEO Mr. Munir Chaudhry, AMITA Bolingbrook Hospital, DuPage Township Supervisor Bill Mayer, Dr. Hasnain Syed, and Dr. Aftab Khan who was also recognized as the new President for PPS.  Dr. Sameer Shafi, Two River Dental, Mr. Sohail Shafi, IFANCA, Dr. Wasi Ullah of East West University and many others.
 
The event was entertaining at many fronts.  Entertainment for kids included face painting, jumpy houses, air plane rides and arts and crafts activities.  All types of food were being served at the food booths consisting of Bismillah Restaurant, Azaadi Grill, El Alambron, AWS catering, Pick & Move and Portos Peri Peri chicken.

Fashion show models – Inspire Multiband for putting on an excellent fashion show which the center of attraction for everyone.

The clothing and jewelry bazaar was filled with deals for the Eid celebration and business owners had their booths set up to get the maximum exposure.  The APA has done a fine job in maintaining the quality and providing businesses a great platform to get exposure through their digital screen advertising and this year the entire event was broadcasted live achieving over 200k viewership.  
 
The entertainment began about 8 pm as DJ Kazi entertained the crowd all day with his music.  Inspire Multibrand from Devon Avenue produced another glorifying fashion show which brought out the best bridal and formal wear.  The APA offered many great raffle prizes including the grand prize of a round trip ticket by MI travel a lap top from Jamil Khan and many other supporters.
 
The highlight of the evening were the two entertainers as Asim Azhar opened the show and won the hearts of thousands of attendees lighting up the entire place with lights to his famous song from Coke Studio, Tera who Piyar.  The crowd was anxious to see Bushra Ansari, as when she took the stage she had the entire crowd on their feet.  She was simply magical with her voice and entertained the crowd as expected.
 
Before the event ended all the APA volunteers were brought on stage and recognized.  The volunteers included Hamid Bhatti, Rizwan Asghar, Zulfi Ahmed, Aziz Vayani, Kamran Rashid, Aziz Chaudhry and Ali Zaman.
The event was a huge success at every level.  The APA has done it again and has proven to America that they truly bring out the best in the Pakistani American community and are leaders in educating America on all the positive contributions Pakistani Americans continue to make towards its success.
 
The 2018 Taste of Pakistan will take place in August 2018 and further information will be available on www.apabolingbrook.com
 

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Recent Trends among the Indian Diaspora and its Increasing Significance

As the Indian diaspora is increasingly organizing itself in the host countries by accumulating the resources, it may have potential impact on the economic, social and political landscape in India.

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Indian Diaspora
Indian Diaspora organizing community identity in the host country

The Indian diaspora is a generic term representing the people who migrated from the Indian territories to the other parts of the world. It includes the descendants of these groups. Today, over twenty million Indians which include Non-Resident Indians and People of Indian Origin are residing outside the Indian territory as Indian diaspora. According to a UN survey report of 2015, India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world. In 2005, Indians formed the world’s third-largest diaspora. The Indians who settled overseas in the 1960s for more developed countries such as US, UK, Canada, Australia and Western Europe formulate the category of the New Diaspora.

What are the popular host countries for the Indian Diaspora:

The 2010 estimates of Census data of US, UK and Canada suggest that Indian diaspora constitutes three million people in US, 1.5 million people in the United Kingdom and one million in Canada. Indians are the fourth largest immigrant group in the United States. Also, five million emigrants from India residing in the Gulf region at present.

The History of Indian Diaspora:

A brief overview of the history of Indian diaspora suggests that the first group of Indians immigrated to Eastern Europe in the 1st century AD from Rajasthan during the reign of Kanishka. Yet another evidence of migration was witnessed in 500 AD when a group immigrated to Southeast Asia as the Cholas extended their empire to Indonesia and Malaysia thereby spreading the Indian culture in these states. Thus the early evidence of the diaspora was found during ancient times. The medieval period witnessed the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism during the Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. Mughals took Indians as traders, scholars, artists, musicians, and emissaries to the other parts of the country.

Old Diaspora:

The first wave of the Modern Indian Diaspora, also called the Old Diaspora, began in the early 19th century and continued until the end of the British rule. The Dutch and French colonizers followed the suit. Indians were sent in large numbers to become the bonded labourers for sugar and rubber plantation in their colonies.

Indians in Caribbean, Africa, and Asia:

By the end of World War 1, there were 1.5 million Indian laborers in the colonies in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. At present, around 60% of Indian diaspora is constituted of this Old Diaspora.

Impact of Immigration policies on Migration from India:

After the Indian independence, a large number of unskilled and some skilled Punjabi male Sikhs migrated to the UK from India due to favorable immigration policies in the United Kingdom. Similarly, the 1990s onwards, due to software boom and its rising economy, H-1B was introduced in the US immigration policy that allowed the entry of highly skilled IT specialists, doctors, scientists and engineers in the US. Further, the 1970s witnessed oil boom in the Middle East that led to significant growth of Indian diaspora in the Gulf region.

While the low skilled and semi-skilled workers are moving to the Gulf region for better economic opportunities, highly skilled labor is moving from India to US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Has Indian Diaspora started impacting the economies and societies:

With the growing rate of international migration since the beginning of millennia, there is a significant impact of diaspora on the economies and societies of the world. In recent years, the diaspora is influencing the economic, political and cultural affairs in their homeland. It is so because the influence of the diaspora communities increases as they organize themselves and accumulate resources in their host countries for several years. The mobilized diaspora are now influencing the affairs of the homeland countries. A common form of exchange is the financial remittances provided to the relatives by the diaspora community. Overseas family networks of the political elites in India are shaping the political landscape as well. Culturally, the diaspora is influencing the music and literature trends in India as the content is consciously structured to cater to the tastes of the diaspora.

What actions have been taken by the government of India to tap the potential of Indian Diaspora:

The first Pravasi Bhartiya Divas was organized in 2003 by the Government of India to expand and reshape the state of India’s economy by the use of the potential human capital which the Indian diaspora reflects. Clearly, Indian diaspora has a larger role to play in the Indian economy over the coming years as the efforts to mobilize them increase in the homeland.

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Diwali Preparations Grow in US, from Disney to Times Square

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Dipawali
Diyas adorn every corner of the house on the celebration day of Diwali. pixabay

The holiday of Diwali in the US is starting to light up mainstream America. Diwali, a festival of lights celebrated by Indians all over the world, has long been observed in immigrant communities around the U.S.

But now public celebrations of the holiday are starting to pop up in places ranging from Disneyland and Times Square to parks and museums.

The Times Square event is the brainchild of Neeta Bhasin, who says that while many Indian immigrants have found great success in the U.S., “still people don’t know much about India. I felt it’s about time that we should take India to mainstream America and showcase India’s rich culture, heritage, arts and diversity to the world. And I couldn’t find a better place than the center of the universe: Times Square.”

Places in America where Diwali Celebrations will take place.

Bhasin, who came to the United States from India 40 years ago, is president of ASB Communications, the marketing firm behind Diwali at Times Square. The event, now in its fourth year, has drawn tens of thousands of people in the past. It’s scheduled for Oct. 7, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., with dance performances, Bollywood singers, a bazaar of food, saris and other goods, and a lighting ceremony.

While Diwali celebrations are held throughout the fall, the holiday’s actual date is Oct. 19. Also called Deepavali, it’s an autumn harvest festival held just before the Hindu new year. Celebrations include lighting oil lamp called diyas and candles to symbolize “a victory of knowledge over ignorance, light over darkness, good over evil,” said Bhasin.

The Diwali celebration at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, includes performances of traditional Indian dances and a Bollywood dance party for guests. It’s part of a festival of holidays at the theme park reflecting cultural traditions from around the world. The Disney festival begins Nov. 10 and runs through Jan. 7.

San Antonio, Texas, has one of the nation’s largest city-sponsored celebrations of Diwali, drawing more than 15,000 people each year. The 2017 event, scheduled for Nov. 4 at La Villita, a historic arts village, will be its ninth annual Diwali celebration with Indian dance, entertainment, food, crafts, fireworks and the release of lighted candles into the San Antonio River along the city’s River Walk.

New York City’s Rubin Museum will mark Diwali with an overnight Ragas Live Festival featuring more than 50 Indian classical musicians performing amid the museum’s collection of sacred Himalayan art. The event begins Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. and continues all day and night through Oct. 22 at 10 a.m. Chai and mango lassis will be served, visitors will have access to all the galleries and pop-up events like meditation and sunrise prayer will be offered. Special tickets will be sold for the opportunity to sleep beneath the artwork.

Other places hosting Diwali celebrations include Cary, North Carolina, in Regency Park, Oct. 14; Flushing Town Hall, Queens, New York, Oct. 29; the Seattle Center, Oct. 21; the Dulles Expo center in Chantilly, Virginia, Oct. 7-8; and Memorial Park in Cupertino, California, Sept. 30. In Columbus, Ohio, the Ohio History Center is hosting a photo exhibit about the city’s fast-growing population of immigrants from Nepal, Bhutan and India, with a Diwali event Oct. 8.

Bhasin said Diwali’s message is particularly timely now. “It is extremely important to be together and showcase to the world, not only Indians, but the entire immigrant community, to be together with Americans and to show the world we are one, we are all the same human beings,” she said.(VOA)

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Build on Indian Diaspora to Bolster Relation: US Diplomat

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Indian Diaspora
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugs President Donald Trump as Modi departs the White House, June 26, 2017. VOA

Kolkata, Sep 23, 2017: American diplomat Jeffrey Sexton on Friday batted for building on the Indian diaspora in the US to bolster relations, noting it is becoming more and more active in promoting cross cultural ties.

“The biggest connection that we have now is the size of the Indian diaspora in the US. All of the Indians who have connections with the US now… relatives, friends studying in the US and if we just keep building on this wonderful positive connection between the two countries, it adds such an important dimension to our relationship,” Sexton, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in New Delhi, said on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Badamtola Ashar Sangha Durga puja and the Great Kolkata Autumn Heritage Festival.

Also Read: Indian Travellers Emerging as Key Market for America: Brand USA 

The pandal (marquee) represents a slice of America in Kolkata.

“The diaspora is becoming more and more active in the US in promoting these kind of connections (cross-cultural connections)… it is becoming more politically involved in the US… you see many of our politicians … United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley… the high profile just highlights once again the diversity of the US as a country and its connections to South Asia and India…,” Sexton told IANS.

The U.S. Embassy and consulates in India are celebrating the US-India Cultural Connections and #USIndiaDosti this month through several engagements.

(IANS)