Unity in 2003 – by Sara Dunn, The Argus January 1, 2003
FREMONT _ The Indo-American Community Federation will hold its second “Unity Dinner” in an effort to forge a strong bond and sense of understanding between the different ethnic, religious and cultural groups living in the Tri-City area. While the evening will feature Indian cultural performances, the Jan. 24 event is meant to bring the community together rather than just to highlight a particular group. “It will bring together not only the different religious groups from India but all the other diverse groups (living in the area),” said Jeevan Zutshi, founder of the federation. The idea to hold the dinner came after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Since that time, Zutshi said, “it is more and more important to celebrate diversity and to understand each other’s cultures.” Zutshi said 300 people including members of the
Citizens for Better Community, a largely Chinese-American organization, as well as the Afghan Coalition and the Hispanic Association have signed up to attend. Public dignitaries
from Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, to Fremont City Councilmember Dominic Dutra also have said they will attend, Zutshi said. There are roughly 150 tickets left for the dinner. Part of the profits will be donated to local charities, including the League of Volunteers, Legal Assistance for Seniors and the Fremont Education Foundation. The amount of the donations will depend on how many tickets are sold, Zutshi said.
The evening’s entertainment will feature a Bangra dance by a troupe of students from the University of California, Berkeley; an Orissi dance performance by Shabani, a Stanford
University student who Zutshi said has performed with the pop star Madonna; and a special appearance by Indumathy Ganesh. “We hope Fremont becomes a role model of unity for all of the cities in the country,” Zutshi said.