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Santa Clara Desi Mela

Increasing our Unity
by Peta Cooper

Increasing our Unity

Santa Clara: The first Mela at Santa Clara appeared to be quite a successful one. Several Desi businesses joined up together this weekend marketing the lowest DVDs, CDs, Saris, and food. People were entertained throughout the day with kids on stage dancing to filmi songs, and older children competing in the dance competitions. FIBA, which is a network that acts like an umbrella to several Indian non-profit organizations, hosted the Mela.

Biren Chowdhary, the event coordinator got on the microphone and told everyone how putting together a mela like this one is not a light task. He wants future generations to take pride in their culture and not forget where their ancestors come from. Many days and nights were sacrificed putting this Mela together for everyone.

Deep Katdare, who played "Kris Reddy" in American Desi, a light hearted film about Indian college students living in America, also made it to the mela. He was excited to announce that due to the popularity of American Desi, more movies made by and including South Asians will be coming out on the silver screen. Anil Kumar who played the gangster character in American Desi was also there, the girls went crazy when the announcer called out his name. He was very happy to be there, both him and Kris could easily be spotted at the Mela and they were willing to take pictures and sign autographs with the fans.

Chowdhary also mentioned that this Mela would be in Union City, but according to the Census 2000, Santa Clara has become one of the places with the highest South Asian populations in the Bay Area. The committee thought it would only be fair to try host this Mela in Santa Clara. It appears that for the next 10 years at least the Mela will be in Santa Clara. On Sunday, different groups came together and they had a parade up and down Great America Pkwy, the beauty of Priyanka Chopra, who won Miss World 2000, graced the crowd. To end the Mela festivities they had a Raas Garba that had hundreds of participants.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Feel free to send Peta an e-mail @ Peta Cooper.  

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