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Experience

Oct/07/2023 / by Team Seema
Candid photo of a small group of Indian friends laughing and playing cards around a coffee table at home and having a good time together. They are dressed casually and the room is decorated with traditional ornate Indian furniture, fabrics, and decorations.

[Story 1]

It’s in the Cards

Diwali card parties bring a fun energy to the holidays. Here’s how to make yours a success.

Legend goes that winning at card games during Diwali portends wealth and prosperity for the rest of the year (since you will have goddess Lakshmi’s blessings). Not only are card parties fun, but it can offer a creative twist on traditional Diwali celebrations. Card parties, which are popular in India, especially this time of year, offer a chance to enjoy the festivities, share some laughs, and spend quality time together. 

Here are a few tips to organize a Diwali card party this year that your friends and family will love.

Choose Your Games

While it’s perfectly alright to play popular games like poker or blackjack, why not read up a bit on more interesting card games? Look up Indian traditional card games like Teen Patti (Three Cards) and add some variations or twists. For instance, pick a random card or suit that can be a substitute for any other card to complete a trio or sequence (called a “joker”). Other popular games include Andar Bahar (In and Out) and Three-Two-Five. 

Or you could make up your own game. For instance, your age or birth year could be “trump” cards, or a randomly pulled card could make you go bust.  

Whichever game you choose, make sure the rules are clear to your guests before you begin. Also, plan your buy-in for each game and mention this to your guests when you send out the invites. 

Plan Your Party Set-Up 

The right seating is critical for card night. You want everyone to be comfortable, but you’d also want to have some banter as you play. The number of guests will help you decide your seating. For instance, will you be able to use a standard poker table, or do you need a larger table, or multiple smaller tables? A smaller group could sit on the floor around a coffee table, or you could use your dining table to play. 

If it’s your first time hosting card night, keep the group small and intimate. Also, if you plan to use cash instead of chips, keep a bowl or two ready to serve as the “pot.” 

Food and Drinks

While pretzels and chips are always a great idea, you may want to serve a cocktail or two to get the party started. Keep it desi-themed, like a tamarind margarita or nimbu pani with vodka (Indian-style lemonade).

For the snacks, you could try hummus flavored with chaat masala, accompanied with coriander chutney finger sandwiches, and chicken or paneer tikka or kebabs. And since it’s Diwali, make sure your menu includes an Indian sweet or two, like barfi or laddoo! 

[Story 2] 

Georgia on My Mind

The state declares October as Hindu Heritage Month 

In a gesture that celebrates diversity and acknowledges the rich contributions of the Hindu-American community, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp officially declared October to be celebrated as Hindu Heritage Month throughout the state.

This landmark decision places Georgia among a growing number of states across the nation, including Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, Minnesota, Virginia, and others, in commemorating the heritage, culture, values, and traditions of the Hindu community.

The choice of October for ‘Hindu Heritage Month’ holds special significance. It is the birth month of Mahatma Gandhi, a towering figure known worldwide for his philosophy of non-violence and civil disobedience. Additionally, October is the time when major Hindu festivals like Navratri and Vijaydashami are celebrated with great fervor, making it a perfect occasion to honor the rich tapestry of Hindu culture.

In an official proclamation, Governor Kemp stated, “The Hindu heritage, culture, traditions, and values provide their followers invaluable solutions to many of life’s problems and often serve as a source of inspiration, reflection, and contemplation for the millions of individuals who look to the teachings of Hinduism for guidance.”

He further emphasized that during the entire month of October 2023, the Hindu community in Georgia, along with their fellow Americans across the nation, will collectively celebrate their heritage by immersing themselves in their culture and embracing the diverse spiritual traditions rooted in India.

This declaration has been met with enthusiasm and gratitude from the Hindu-American community and their supporters.

[Story 3] 

Golden Gala

Pratham’s annual event raised millions for educational opportunities

This year’s Pratham New York Gala held at Cipriani Wall Street raised funds to provide learning opportunities to 255,000 children in India. The event, which supports Pratham USA, a volunteer-driven organization that works in collaboration with governments, communities, parents, teachers, and volunteers to address gaps in the education system provided attendees with insight into its impact. One hightlight of the evening was listening to the inspiring story of Siddhi, a young woman whose life was transformed after achieving her Grade 10 certification through Pratham’s Second Chance program.

Indra Nooyi, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo gave an inspiring keynote address, and world-renowned musical duo Salim–Sulaiman, provided the entertainment. Pratham also used the opportunity to showcase its women’s entrepreneurship initiative, which equips young women and mothers with valuable job skills, enabling them to establish and manage their own businesses.

For more information or to support Pratham USA, visit prathamusa.org.

[STORY 4]

Enduring Partnerships

President Biden attends the G20 Summit in New Delhi

The 2023 G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, was attended by President Biden and leaders from the European Union, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mauritius, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the World Bank. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed United States President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., to India, reaffirming the close and enduring partnership between India and the United States.  The leaders expressed their appreciation for the substantial progress underway to implement the groundbreaking achievements of Prime Minister Modi’s historic, June 2023, visit to Washington. President Biden lauded India’s G20 Presidency for further demonstrating how the G20 as a forum is delivering important outcomes.The key highlight of the summit was the announcement of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. Leaders from the United States, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union unveiled a transformative partnership to establish a railway-linked economic corridor connecting Europe to Asia through the Middle East. This initiative aims to promote global trade, expand access to electricity, facilitate clean energy distribution, strengthen telecommunications, and support food security and supply chains. This landmark corridor is expected to stimulate economic development through enhanced connectivity and economic integration across two continents, thus unlocking sustainable and inclusive economic growth.  

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