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November 12, 1999
Health, Marriage, Business Mingle At Charotar Convention
Nitish S Rele in Tampa
It is not just culture and business interest that will draw about 2,500 people from the United States and Canada to the 11th annual Charotar Patidar Samaj's national convention over the Thanksgiving weekend in Tampa, Florida.
There will be matchmaking and medical sessions too at what is turning into one of the best-attended community events in North America. The venue for the November 25 to 27 event is the Tampa Convention Center.
There are nearly 80,000 Charotar Patidars in the US, according to this year's convention chairman P D Patel of Tampa. "The convention was started to promote the culture and history behind the Charotar community," he said.
"Sardar Patel was one of the leaders of the community and sought to promote the history and ancestry of the Charotars."
Several activities have been packed into the three-day gathering. Matrimonial sessions will be held so potential candidates can get together and learn about one another. "Last year in Atlanta, the matrimonial forum was a huge success," said Patel. "We want to follow in its footsteps and expect about 650 applications from matrimonial candidates. There will be plenty of games to allow shy candidates to mix and get involved."
Health awareness programs have been scheduled too so doctors and others in the medical profession can educate and create more awareness in all health matters. At last year's convention, a survey conducted by Drs Ranjita Misra and T G Patel on Asian Indians showed that half of the respondents did not exercise and 16 per cent indicated that they had not had any check-ups done in a year.
"This are alarming figures and hope to make people more awareness about their health and the diseases plaguing the Asian Indian community," said Patel.
A golf tournament will be held in the morning of November 26. Also on the agenda is a basketball tournament for boys ages 12 to 18. Vendors will get to display their goods at booths in one of the convention center's halls.
Entertainment will include a garba/raas program on November 26 night. The next day, a formal dinner and dance have been scheduled. A DJ will keep the young adults and matrimonial candidates on their feet. Also on the list of activities are a fashion show, bhajans, a trip to the Vishnu temple, a cultural show, a magic show and movies for children.
"We want people to come and take part in the fun, enjoy mingling and meeting new and old friends," said Patel, adding that the samaj would do everything to see that everyone has a comfortable stay in Tampa.
"We wish to really create highly successful matrimonial match-making results this year," he said.
For more information on the convention, visit its web site at www.patidar.net, call P D Patel at (813) 935-2591 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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