Diaspora celebrates New Year eve
Entertainment choices for the year end party in the numerous Indian restaurants, banquet halls and clubs marking the peninsula are vast and abundant, writes Shalini Narang.india Updated: Dec 29, 2005 19:53 IST
From clubs in San Francisco and eateries in San Jose to banquets in Fremont and others in between, the triad of attractions priced between $40- $60 per person being promoted for the New Year eve party are a vast buffet of Indian gastronomic delights, Bollywood medleys to shake a leg on and special children centric activities and facilities.
While the rise in the number of Indian immigrants in the Silicon Valley in the last decade has been directly proportional to the ascend in the number of Indian restaurants and centres offering varied Indian cuisines and entertainment services, the vast smorgasbord of choices available as amusement choices for special occasions and hobby trysts is also exemplary of the maturation of the community in the Bay Area.
Hetal Somsundaram of Saffron Indian Bistro in Redwood City says, "We are expecting around 300 people for our New Year Eve Party. Our target audience is the Desi population of the peninsula, including Redwood City, Palo Alto, San Mateo, San Carlos, Foster City, Fremont, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. Ours is a kid-friendly place and party with various activities for the children in a special play area and a huge Indian and Indian Chinese buffet including a Chaat Bar. DJ Shirish will play Bollywood Songs and hip hop numbers. "We also have a Champagne Toast and Balloon Drop at 12." She adds
Similarly, besides the midnight toast, balloon drop, free party favours, glow sticks and special discounted hotel rates, the Golden Peacock Banquet in the city of Fremont with a huge Indian American populace is advertising performances by belly dancers as its USP for its New Year's Eve shindig.
In the other desi rich cities in the south bay, not only are the Indian restaurants like Pasand, Swagat, Sneha and others getting ready for the big new year eve bashes but India Community Centre, the largest community facility in the US, is also hosting an elaborate New Year Eve Celebration titled- Dhoom Dhamaka 2006. In line with the needs of the community, the centre is also aiming to host holistic entertainment encompassing the adults and the children. Bollywood/Pop/Western rock hits by live band- Prithvi are being promoted in parallel with special activities like face painting, clown, magician, arts, Game Boy, air hockey, pool tables and karaoke for children of myriad age groups. The facility at over 20,000 sq feet is the largest community centre in US.
Veterans of eight years in the business of arranging youth focused New Year Eve Parties for the second generation Indo American community in the Silicon Valley is the company called Ecstasy Productions. Their primary claim to fame is the Bollywood Nights on the first Saturday of every month in their San Francisco club.
For the sake of bottom-line and in keeping with the needs of the community, for their New Year eve shindy, the company has made special childcare arrangements besides the de rigueur desi food and fun.
"We are expecting about 1500 people at Santa Clara Marriott on the 31st December. For the last seven years, Bhangra has been the main pull for the crowd, but this year, we have shifted gears and made Bollywood our primary entertainment focus. Initially, our target audiences were the younger second generation Indo Americans, but now we are also trying to attract the professionals besides the college crowd. This year, the popular artists being favoured by the youth are Gunjan, Raghav, Jay Sean and others," says Leena. The company has hired Gunjan as its crowd puller for its year end festivity.
For those preferring the quiet and warmth of the home and hearth instead of the myriad parties, the varied desi channels offer a peek to the celebrations back home, again the la Bollywood affair.
Here's wishing all readers of the California Diary a very Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year. May the coming year bring in peace, joy and cheer to you all.