Tag Archive | events

Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles

The Indian Independence Day anniversary this year on August 15th, was the 69th one since India got it’s independence from the British.  I had a day off from work on Friday, 14th August, and already showed you Day 1, which we spent mostly in Artesia – LA’s Little India.  I love visiting Artesia.  Here at home in San Diego, we also have a Little India in the Black Mountain Road area of Mira Mesa, but I do enjoy going to Artesia from time to time.

Day 2 of our little mini-vacation started off at Knotts Soak City, which I already showed you in another post, and now I will show you more pictures of the actual Indian Independence Day Celebration in Artesia (part of Los Angeles).

These pictures were taken towards the end of the evening, and show Bollywood star Raveena Tandon on the stage.  The first picture shows when she was lighting a lamp as part of the day’s celebrations.

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

This picture shows the lighting of the lamp a little bit more clearly

Raveena Tandon lighting the lamp at the Indian Independence Day Celebration

Raveena Tandon lighting the lamp at the Indian Independence Day Celebration

This picture just shows Raveena looking very elegant, and beautiful on this great day.

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Raveena Tandon at Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

My daughter Niki and I got to the event at around 5:45 pm, and we thought we were late.  We were relieved when we found out that it hadn’t started yet, so we walked around.  Here is Niki enjoying having the day off from dancing and being able to watch her friends peform instead.

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

We walked around and looked at all the wonderful food, I really should have taken more pictures of the other food stations – there were so many.  This picture shows Pani Puri.  I remember we used to have these back in England, and called them Gol Gappa, not sure if I am spelling that properly.  They would puff up a lot sometimes while they were fried, and when they came out of the fryer, we would delight in poking a hole in them, and would pour tamarind sauce in to the hole in the center, and oh my gosh, that was one of the tastiest treats ever! They don’t make them here, like my Grandma made them back in England.  We used to eat them right after she fried them, and they were so yummy!  I think Pani Puri are just the same as Gol Gappa, but I do have to question it as they don’t taste as good as my Grandma’s Gol Gappa! I think Gol Gappa might be the Punjabi word for Pani Puri.

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Oh, I have one more picture of another of the food stations

Food Vendors At Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

I had a sample of some great chai!  Oh, how I love chai!  This one was just the way I like it – piping hot and made with chai masala.  I ended up buying some mixes as when I am home, I just make tea the English way by brewing it in a cup, and can’t be bothered going the extra step and making Indian tea (chai) properly.  However, when I go out to Indian restaurants, I love to drink chai – I want my proper Indian tea then!

Chai Moments At Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Chai Moments At Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

After we wandered around for a bit, it was time to see some performances.  It started off with this little boy dancing.  Oh, he was so cute.  You can see him and the others who performed in the video, directly below his picture (excuse the hand that got in the way).

Performances At Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Performances At Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Please do watch my video of the Performances, this was the main event of the celebration, and of course, the star of the event was Raveena Tandon.

Then there were more performances, here is an assortment of pictures:

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles

Indian Independence Day in Los Angeles

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Did you know there was a Congressman in attendance?  Yes, there was.  Congressman Ed Royce (R) serves the 39th Congressional District in Orange County and eastern Los Angeles.  I made a video of him too, but did not add it to the Performances video!

Congressman Ed Royce at Indian Independence Day Celebration

Congressman Ed Royce at Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Some more pictures of the performances

Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Indian Independence Day Celebration in Los Angeles

Then, guess what another great thing happened at this event, they had a great sale and all clothes were only $1 each.  Yes, you read it right  – just $1 each.  I bought seven items and it was so worth it.

Indian Independence Day Celebration

Indian Independence Day Celebration

I hope  you enjoyed seeing my pictures, and the video of the Performances.  In case you haven’t yet seen the video that I made of when Raveena Tandon was made upset, here it is:

The Magic of December Nights in San Diego

I knew December Nights at Balboa Park was going to be magical.  There’s not a better way to kick-start the holidays than going to Balboa Park, and experiencing December Nights.  What is/are December Nights?  I wrote about it in my previous post, just click here to see More Info on December Nights (that post contains some external links with more information too).

Now that December Nights (which occurred on December 7 & 8, 2012) are over, there’s still plenty of reasons to visit the Park.  The magical tree is still there, and so are the lights and the great atmosphere, and at least you won’t have the crowds to deal with.  Here’s some pictures:

First the magical tree:

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

It gets even more magical – it opens up!

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

It changes color!

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

It changed color again!

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

This one is more fuzzier, because my camera’s battery died and I had to use my I-phone.

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

This one’s fuzzy too, but I’m including it because I want you to see the spectacle of color that was so beautiful during the December Nights concert.

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Here’s the same color for background, but the tree has closed up

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Now for a lighter shade of blue

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

And the last two of the tree at least!

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Now for some pictures of the Park in the dark.  Me and my family went to December Nights on both December 7 and December 8.  Why miss out on the magic?

I believe this church now houses the Museum of Man

St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park, San Diego

St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park, San Diego

Museum of Man & St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park, San Diego

Museum of Man & St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Museum of Man & St. Francis Chapel, Balboa Park, San Diego

Today, I suddenly stumbled on a second picture that I took of the Church at Balboa Park, I thought I only had one like the one above.

The Museum of Man, December Nights, Balboa Park

The Museum of Man, December Nights, Balboa Park

Are you ready for more Christmas trees?  Here’s another one at the Park, closer to the church shown above

Christmas Tree, near Museum of Man, Balboa Park

Christmas Tree, near Museum of Man, Balboa Park

Oh, my gosh!  The Grinch was here, but Chandi didn’t want to have her picture taken with him, so I had to take it of someone else instead!

The Grinch at Balboa Park

The Grinch at Balboa Park

Even dogs like December Nights, this picture was taken with no flash, but it wasn’t very good, however, it will give you an idea of what the lights were like and how it really looked in the dark

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

The dog also has glasses, more clearly seen in the picture below.

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

Dog in a Car with Christmas Lights at Balboa Park

It’s just so nice strolling through the Park, even in the dark!

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park was nicely lit up for the holidays

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

There were so many people there, you wouldn’t believe it.  I think I read somewhere that there were at least 300,000 people.

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Here’s the Botanical Gardens Building at night time bathed in a beautiful blue light

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

Balboa Park, December Nights, San Diego

You can’t tell from these pictures just how many people there were in Balboa Park during these two very busy nights.

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Of course, there were a lot of delicious choices for food, but I didn’t get to take too many pictures of the different vendors.  Here’s one at least.

Food Options, December Nights, Balboa Park

Food Options, December Nights, Balboa Park

This fountain is near one of the many museums at the park, and is closest to the path to the San Diego Zoo.

Fountain, Balboa Park, San Diego

Fountain, Balboa Park, San Diego

The words “Happy Holidays” lit up one of the museums

Happy Holidays, Balboa Park, San Diego

Happy Holidays, Balboa Park, San Diego

Happy Holidays, Balboa Park, San Diego

Happy Holidays, Balboa Park, San Diego

The Natural History Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego

The Natural History Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego

Here’s a clearer picture of some people at December Nights

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

For some reason, I like this picture

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of Balboa Park at night, it is beautiful both at night and day

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

I didn’t quite get the picture above centralized, see how it looks below, still not right.  It would have been perfect if I could have got both “Season’s Greetings” and the lighting on the wall on the right in just one picture balanced out better.  Oh, well.  I’ll have to make do with two pictures.

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Now for where the reindeers are with presents laden on the sleigh

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

A different angle of the reindeers

Reindeers, December Nights at Balboa Park

Reindeers, December Nights at Balboa Park

Now, there’s the presents at the back (I guess on the sleigh).

Reindeers, December Nights at Balboa Park

Reindeers, December Nights at Balboa Park

Some more lights

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

Now, some more pictures of the amazing tree from a different angle.

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

December Nights at Balboa Park

And lastly, some pictures of the performers who entertained us at the site of the magical tree.

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park, San Diego

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Performers at December Nights, Balboa Park

Just incase you don’t get the full flavor of what it’s like at Balboa Park during December Nights, I made this video especially for you.

I still haven’t had the chance to take more daytime pictures of Balboa Park, so in the meantime, you can look at these pictures taken by someone who linked to my post previously, so now I will link to his – so you can see his amazing pictures of Balboa Park: http://onecoolthingeveryweekend.com/2012/11/21/picture-tour-of-the-san-diego-balboa-park/

Oh, by the way, I went to the International Houses on the 8th of December and saw various cultural dances there, including Indian dances, but only managed to get a few pictures.  Perhaps, I will put those in another post.  Anyway, I hope you can see that Balboa Park is so magical when it’s the holidays.  If you celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas to you, and if you don’t – Happy Holidays!

Happy Diwali from San Diego

Happy Diwali from San Diego again!  This time the festivities took place just outside the Shri Mandir at the annual Diwali Mela on Black Mountain Road in Mira Mesa (about 15 minutes north of downtown San Diego).  The 2012 Diwali Mela in San Diego was held on Saturday, October 27th.

First, some pictures:

Rajasthan Dance at Shri Mandir, San Diego – Diwali Mela

Diwali Mela 2012 at Shri Mandir, San Diego

Incase you didn’t see my pictures of Diwali at Balboa Park in San Diego, here are three more:

5th Annual Diwali Celebration – Balboa Park, San Diego

Diwali 2012 – Balboa Park – San Diego

Organ Pavilion Diwali Celebration, Balboa Park, San Diego

Now for a video where I put a few clips together, but there are many dances that I did not capture  unfortunately.  I also had to cut out a lot from the dances because of background noise.   In this video, first you will see a Punjabi dance – Bhangra (one of my favorites – especially since my family is from the Punjab), then you will see a dance from Rajasthan, and then another few clips.  At the end of this video, you will see some little kids dancing to Kolaveri Di, which is a cute song that turned out to be very popular, and even my little Chandi sings to it whenever she hears it.

I really wanted to add some more pictures in this post of Indian sweets from a local place on Black Mountain Road, which is a great alternative to going all the way up to Artesia (about one hour and 15 minutes away from where I live). Perhaps, I will add some pictures later on – maybe even on November 13th – the actual day of Diwali.  Just fyi – Black Mountain Road is San Diego’s Little India, and Artesia is Los Angeles’ Little India.  I really do enjoy going up to Artesia, as there are more stores and Indian restaurants, but I am beginning to get used to our own Little India in San Diego, and love one or two of the places there, such as Ashoka The Great Restaurant, and Surati Farsan Mart (the place where I will get my Indian sweets from this year).

Here’s the video of the performances at Balboa Park in San Diego at the 5th Annual Diwali Celebration on October 21st.  Here you will see dances from the many regions of India including Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.  You will also see the Diwali Lights display towards the end of the video, and then a finale where everyone dances to Bhangra on the stage.

A new addition to this post – it is now November 12th, and I just got my sweets from Surati Farsan Fart, and here’s some pictures of the fantastic selections:

Surati Farsan Mart, Black Mountain Road, Mira Mesa, San Diego

I just had to get some jalebis, these are yummy and so sweet (actually they have a lot of syrup, and have a great crunch to them)!

Jalebis from Surati Farsan Mart, San Diego

These two boxes have mango burfi in one box (second selection from the top left in the picture from the display selection – see above)

Diwali Sweets, Surati Farsan Mart

The second box has laddoo in them which can be seen more clearly in the picture below.  Laddoo are the yellowish round balls in the first big box  on the top shelf (on the left).  These laddoo are absolutely delicious, and have raisins in them – they almost melt in your mouth!

Indian Sweets, Surati Farsan Mart

I hope you like the videos, and pictures, and I hope you will celebrate in some way on November 13th – even if you light just one or two candles.  Happy Diwali!