December 23, 2013

Orlando Magic to host 2nd 'India Day' on January 19th

Hey, if we Indians can't make our way into the NBA with basketball talent, let's make sure to do it culture.

The Orlando Magic, joining hands with the Indian American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), will host the second annual 'India Day' programme at Orlando's home game against the Boston Celtics on January 19th. The event follows the success of the Magic's India Day last season and the growing interest of NBA teams to reach out to fans of Indian origin (and perhaps to Indians back home, too).

Orlando's interest into the Indian community and culture follows the three years of 'Bollywood Nights' that were held the Golden State Warriors when Vivek Ranadive was their minority owner. Ranadive since went on to become the first Indian-born majority owner in the NBA when he purchased the Sacramento Kings and has brought all kinds of India swag to Sac-Town, from Shaq playing cricket to cheerleaders regularly performing Bollywood dance numbers.

The Magic could certainly do with some distractions: they currently stand at the bottom of the Southeast division, but at least have the piece in Aaron Afflalo, Victor Oladipo, and Nikola Vucevic (plus a high pick in next year's loaded draft) to build something interesting for the future.

This season's India Day in Orlando will feature an appearance by 2014 Miss American Nina Davuluri, the Indian-American from New York, who unfortunately become more famous for receiving racist backlash than for actually winning a beauty pageant. Davuluri will share the story of her rise to fame and her platform on racial diversity with Magic fans. There will also be a street festival that will include Henna tattoo artists, Indian dances and Indian cuisine.

Dr. Amish M. Parikh, an Orlando resident and one of the organizers of the event, said, "We were encouraged last year that we were able to bring everybody together on one day and celebrate the Indian American community. And it was a sporting event that brought all of us together. "Sports create a venue where we can all enjoy a good time and be happy and sad together. We’re excited that the Magic are our local sports team that we can all rally around."

The IACC will donate 1,000 tickets of the game to nonprofit organizations throughout Central Florida, up from 600 last year. There will also be a special ticket offer (call 407-916-2679) and a street festival that will include Henna tattoo artists, Indian dances and Indian cuisine.

The Magic's website says that the success in Orlando last year - which featured a street festival and Bollywood-dancing cheerleaders - also caught the eye of teams around the NBA and several other India Nights are being planned this season throughout in the league.

Now if only one of them can invite Aziz Ansari for his views on cultural diversity, Calvin Cambridge, and saris. He might be a Knicks fan, too.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to Miss America 2014. I wish success and all best in hers life. I just want to say that in the article of Bulgarian language "Antonia Petrova: I make sex on a schedule" from the site "hot" of the site and under other articles of the Bulgarian language and of other Bulgarian women wear the title Miss Bulgaria indicated there from other people (of the sites and and I learned (and even I wrote things ) many interesting facts for Bulgaria and the world.