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Gujarati meet planned in new Jersey

The Gujarati commuinty in USA plans to hold a global meet with political seminars and cultural events in July.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2006 12:03 IST

The Gujarati Association of North America plans a global meet - with political seminars, cultural events and kite flying - in the US during July to acquaint the second generation with their cultural roots.

The association expects 3,000 Gujaratis to attend the convention in New Jersey from July 7 to 9.

"We have invited religious leaders, political leaders, film stars, cultural artistes and men of letters from not only Gujarat but from other countries too, to showcase Gujarat in its splendour and multi-faceted forms," Convention Convenor and Pravasi Bharatiya Sanman recipient, Sudhir Parikh said.

"Our main intention is to make the second generation, who are now complete American, aware about their cultural roots. We want them to remain connected with Gujarat. We also want them to visit the state when they come here," he added.

Stressing the need to improve infrastructure to improve tourism in Gujarat, Parikh said, "A lack of tourism facilities in Gujarat make the cultural heritage a hidden treasure."

Association chairman Ramesh Patel said that the convention, apart from being a cultural bond, would help in pressurising the US government to finalise the India-US civic nuclear treaty.

"The per capita income of Gujaratis living in the US is more than the Jewish community and we are also politically very active. Our contribution towards party funds during elections is quite substantial. We hope to make some difference in India's political relationship with the US," he said.

Prakash Parekh, who is on the board of directors of the New Jersey Development Authority, said, "The three-day meet may prove an initiative in our efforts to make New Jersey and Gujarat sister states."

According to Parekh, the highlights of the convention will be seminars on investment, immigration, citizenship, jobs and discrimination. Along with political and economic deliberations, cultural programmes and kite flying events will mark the convention.

Interestingly, association members are mum on the possible attendance of some invitees, particularly Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who was denied visa by the US last year.

First Published: Apr 24, 2006 12:03 IST