- India Association of San Antonio
INDIA ASSOCIATION OF SAN ANTONIO
V O L
Renew your Membership and Pay
SANA Earthquake News
Srimad Bagavat Pravachan
2 0 1 5
A Message From the President...
Spring is in full swing and the nonstop
rain is rivaling that of the monsoons in
India. While the pouring rains may be
keeping you indoors, it shouldn't stop you
from attending IASA's events! IASA hosts
its annual Health and Wellness Fair on
May 30th in association with TIPS-SW.
This is one of IASA's most important
events as promoting health and wellness is
a top priority for many in our community.
Indians are not immune and in fact are
more susceptible to serious diseases like
diabetes and high cholesterol.
The Health and Wellness Fair offers members of the community at large to receive
free lab screenings which provide blood
sugar and cholesterol levels instantly
among other counts. Futhermore, your
results will be evaluated by actual physicians. Additionally, we will have physicians across multiple specialties on hand
for consultations including doctors, dentists, nutritionists, and more. I urge all
members of the community to attend and
in particular, please bring your elderly
parents and grandparents to ensure they
receive proper preventive screenings. Life
is too precious and it is foolish to neglect
having proper care and diagnostics performed. We are still seeking sponsors for
this event, so contact us if you are interested.
On April 16th, IASA was proud to have
the Arathi School of Dance host a recital
at the community center. It was a spectacular display of art and dance involving
children of all ages from the young preschoolers all the way to teenagers. I encourage all families to support the arts and
involve your kids in music, dance, and
other activities to expose them to the clas-
sical culture of India. However, the most
significant portion of the evening for
IASA was the Arathi School's donation to
the Community Center Renovation Project. They generously provided us with a
check for $6000! I give a heartfelt thanks
to all those who contributed and we will
use those funds to help restore the community center to its once glorious condition. We still need more funds to continue
the project and achieve all the goals we set
out for from the beginning.
On May 27th, IASA is fortunate to have
an opportunity to represent the community
at USAA's Asian-Fest. This is an excellent
opportunity facilitated by our EC,
Shridevi Papineni, to present a taste of
Indian culture to a broad audience at
USAA, one of San Antonio's largest and
more prestigious companies. IASA will
present henna, traditional clothing, dance,
music and more at the event. A special
thanks goes out to all participants who
will be helping out at the event.
On a more serious note, last month I lost
my father to pancreatic cancer. He was
diagnosed the first week of the year and
suffered through a difficult battle with the
cancer. He was a great man who helped
others selflessly and cared for his family
deeply. I dedicate this issue and the rest of
my year as IASA President to the values
he instilled in me to work hard and care
for others and the community. At this
time, I also want to give a special thanks
to my friends, family, and fellow EC
members who have supported me and my
family through these difficult few weeks. I
could not have done it without all of you.
The Kahani Project for Adults!
The UTSA San Antonio Writing Project
The India Association of San Antonio
The Kahani Project for Adults!
The India Association of San Antonio in collaboration with The UTSA San Antonio Writing Project invites people of Asian Indian
origin to participate.
People have stories that inspire others in the community or we may
yearn for an opportunity to share our experiences with others who
are interested in listening to our understanding of life events. We all
have some stories that should not be buried in our hearts, but they
need to be shared with like-minded people. Remember that writing
is useful and it can be both therapeutic and entertaining. Here is
your opportunity to write and later share a page long anecdote or poem at the Kahani Project for adults this year. Please feel
free to write in your heritage languages and we will get them translated for you.
Please join us!
“Concept of Unity in
Place: IASA Community Center
Date: J une 13, 2015
Time: 10 am
Address: IASA Community Center
Summer Wind St, San Antonio, TX ,78217
Dr. Henkin ([email protected])
Dr. Iyengar ([email protected])
Mr. Gandhi ([email protected])
Additional discourse on the topic, “The Search of Divine Happiness” with Gopeshwari Didi is on June 6th at 13410 Heights Park,
San Antonio, TX 78230 at 6 pm. The lecture will conclude with a
pot luck dinner. For information, call (210) 408-1706 or email at
Save the Date! Events not to be missed!
The Kahani Project for Adults —
June 13th, 2015
Srmad bagavat Katha Pravachan
about our latest
Independence Day—Aug 15, 2015
Diwali—Oct 24, 2015
Cultural Events & Dance Productions
And on our
“Unity in Diversity”
Public Library Sponsored Asian Pacific Heritage Month
The San Antonio Public Library celebrates the Asian Pacific American
Heritage Month every May. This year, the Indian community educated and entertained library patrons with classical Bharatanatyam dances and Carnatic violin and music programs at the different public libraries across town.
The Asian Pacific Heritage is organized to bring awareness to the San
Antonio citizens about the vibrant Asian ethnic groups living in San Antonio.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures organizes the Asian Festival every year,
where all of the different Asian cultural groups dance, sing, bring foods, artifacts, etc., to the event. The Indian community participates through the IASA
and the local dance and music schools such as Natyanjali, Arathi, Kaveri Natya
Yoga, Samanvaya, Northside Music School, and Kalalaya.
The contributions of our dance and music schools are what keeps the arts
and in turn our cultures alive in the community and in our children’s lives. The
arangetrams, salangai Puja, Carnatic music recitals, help people who immigrated to the US, rekindle their heritage practices. The community events such
as city Deepavali, Asian festival and the Asian Pacific Heritage Month bring
the Asian cultures to the larger audiences in San Antonio.
The San Antonio public library is helping these underrepresented cultural groups be known through the Asian Pacific Heritage Month. The library accommodates Asian Indian classical dance and music, violin, tea tasting, and
lectures on Hinduism. Other Asian cultures that are promoted are Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.
Figure Source: San Antonio Central Library
Cultural Events & Music and Dance
Aksheta & Kavya
Sonika Patel Rangapravesham, June
Shivani Patel Rangapravesham, June
Kaveri Natya Yoga
Lanka June 27th at
Mahalakshmi Hall 4 to 6
Pooja Mirkhelkar July
11th at Carver
Aruna Kharod August
15th at Carver
Gayathri Evani August
29th at Carver
Caged Bird (Maya
Workshop by Dr.
Sheshadri Iyengar at
Workshop by, Sanjay Shantharam,
Natya Nevedhan- by
Prerna Pamar. Carver
Northside Music School
1st Annual School Day with violin duet by Vittal Ramamurthy and Anand Nadayogi with Thiruvarur Vaidyanathan on
Venue: 8500, Wurzbach, Suite 702 (Sai Center)
Date: August 30th, 2015 at 3 pm
Information: [email protected]/585-6617
Dr. Pemmaraju Narasimha Rao’s Memoir Book
“The Divine Hand Guides Me”
Dr. Pemmaraju Narasimha Rao’s memoir book “The Divine Hand Guides Me” was
released on May 3rd, 2015 amidst former SA mayor, Henry Cisneros, scientists and invited
guests from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, and several members of the Asian Indian community. The book was written by Dr. Kalpana Mukunda Iyengar and edited by Prof.
Jeanette Pierce. Both Iyengar and Pierce are UTSA’s San Antonio Writing Project Teacher
Consultants. The project was coordinated by Mr. Mahesh Kapadia of the AWGP.
The book was typeset and printed at Verdon Graphics by Mr. Michael Rose (85 NE
Loop 410, San Antonio TX 78216. Phone: (210) 308-5552.
Bana Shastri Ramanath
Natyanjali Center for the Performing Arts
Natyanjali center conducts weekly classes in Bharata Natyam and Dances of India in Austin &
San Antonio and promotes ancient disciplines to explore the inner Self, and the Kalakshetra
Bharata Natyam techniques to foster collaborative expressions of the human spirit in its many
manifestations. The mission of Natyanjali is to promote world culture by creating awareness that
unity and diversity can coexist through performing arts as the medium. Natyanjali has been a pioneer in integrating Indian performing arts with dance disciplines of the world. Under the leadership of Bana Shastri Ramanath, Natyanjali has received funding from both the city of SA & the
Texas Commission for the Arts to produce & implement several productions & Natyanjali Dance
Festivals. Natyanjali has conducted fund-raising events to support various community organizations.
Natyanjali was founded in San Antonio Texas. When Bana Shastri Ramanath (a new comer in
San Antonio at the time) performed a classical Thillana at the IASA Diwali event in the year 1986, a
few music and dance enthusiasts approached her to teach them her style of Bharata Natyam. Bana started informal classes in her breakfast room that soon moved into her two car garage where
both adults and children danced until they ran out of space. Bana, who was then a student at
UTSA with two little kids at home, opened up her Bharat Natyam classes to the larger community
– both Indian & non-Indian & the official Natyanjali was founded. Many years later now, Bana’s
little kids have grown up and so has Natyanjali, stretching out of San Antonio and into central
Texas. There are also students who travel from Dallas, TX & California to take classes at Natyanjali, Austin & SA.
Bana Shastri Ramanath, the principal teacher at Natyanjali comes from a family of priests, scholars & musicians. She has been trained in India by world-renowned Gurus and is a disciple of The
Dhananjayans of Bharata Kalaanjali. She is a dance faculty at the Northwest Vista College, SA,
and currently organizes and conducts workshops & presentations in colleges, universities, and
special events all over Texas. Bana serves the at-risk population with movement & Yoga psychology as therapeutic modalities.
Bana has a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and a master’s degree in counselling psychology and has extensively studied the various philosophical schools of India, especially
the Patanjali Yoga Darshana. Bana has also performed in many states of USA. She has served as a
performing artist on the roster for the Texas Commission on the Arts for many years. She is an
innovative choreographer and an effective story-teller. She has been very successful in integrating Indian dance, music, and culture into the American mainstream through her work “The Temple Dance of India – a Universal Language.”
Smt. Bana Shastri Ramanath is the first Asian Indian artist to receive the St. Mary’s University President Peace Commission Art of Peace Award in 2009! This award is presented to an outstanding artist who has worked towards the promotion of the arts in San Antonio communities.
SA Nepalese Association’s Fundraising Events for the Earthquake Victims
Unity During Calamity
On April 25, as many of us slept in our warm beds in the United States, we couldn’t imagine the devastation that was occurring on the other side of the world in the small, mountainous country of Nepal.
If the cries could have been heard around the world, they would have spoken of multiple cities being devastated by buildings
collapsing like sawdust, which caused the nation to fall to ruins and chaos amidst the beginning of a horrific earthquake that
started around 11:56 NST with a shockingly terrifying magnitude of 7.8. It has been the worst of its kind since 1934. While
the death toll is being given at over 8000 as of current, the bitter reality is, there are yet multiple sites that have yet to be uncovered.
Nepal is a small country with a rich historic background and a diverse range of people nestled between its population-dense
giant neighbors, India and China. Famously renowned as a tourist destination for being home to the largest mountain peak in
the world, Mt. Everest, it is also the site of beautiful centuries-old historical sites including temples, palaces and courtyards.
Countless lives as well as these beautiful landmark treasures were ravaged by the destructive earthquake. The worst damage
was done to the main city of Kathmandu, the central hub of commerce, education and site of famous landmarks. Sadly enough,
future generations of Nepalese born in the United States will never be able to revel in the beauty and magnificence of those
Following the initial earthquake, many Nepalese living abroad would wake up to see the events unfolding on Facebook and
other media, which were bombarded with stories and images of the aftermath. These cannot do justice to the actuality of
events nor relate to the survivors of this event. Neither the camera nor words in the articles can begin to convey the endless
depth of sadness that parents must have faced seeing their young children trapped alive in the collapsed debris. Nor can they
explain the hopelessness that many experienced firsthand, seeing their only shelter come tumbling down and lie before them in
The first couple of days of the earthquake were one of fear and the unknown. The same question was on everyone’s mind,
when would it be safe to go back inside? Masses of Nepalese had to cope with the instant reality of what happened without
knowledge of the whereabouts of their family members. They were forced to sleep outside in bad weather with no tents or cover whatsoever, crowded in the streets with no access to clean food and water, waiting for the quakes to subside. Those quakes
persisted in to the following day and continued further damage.
Amazingly, the event caused the international community to come together to support and join efforts to recuperate the country. Countries such as United States, China, India and so many countless others stepped forward to show their support in multiple ways.
Nepalese in the United States have shown the strength of their unity by forming organizations, drives, and fundraisers to rally
support from the community. People are united through social media sites sharing images of lost ones, how to donate and relief efforts so that information is transmitted as soon as possible. San Antonio is home to a small close-knit population of
about 300 Nepalese who have also risen to action.
Local Nepali students, professionals and families have recently united to form SANA, San Antonio Nepalese Association. The
disaster signified for an urgent need for closeness of the community and cooperation which allows for forward direct action.
SANA is a non-profit organization which is for both Nepalese and supporters of Nepali culture as a community to share, promote and address the needs of the community. The association plans to coordinate local and regional events to promote Nepali
culture as well as perform charitable acts.
The association is in its very early days yet members have moved swiftly. Members of the association have set up a Facebook
page to serve as a communication forum for members and to update on the association efforts. They have also created a website, sanausa.org that offers points of contact so help can be donated. Various meetings were held to organize a Candlelight
Vigil with ideas discussed on transparency of funds to make sure proper funds and support are designated to the groups in
need. Over 30 relief boxes were distributed to stores and public location so monetary donations may be collected for earthquake victims. When there is such a tight scrutiny on whether funds are being directed toward correct parties, giving to SANA
can ensure funds are placed appropriately, as they strive on reaching directly to the local communities who have been impacted by the earthquake.
The candlelight vigil successfully raised $2,404.36 towards relief efforts. It helped gather about 150 people at Alamo Plaza
who lit candles and shared a few moments of silence to remember the victims.
The effort to rebuild lives, families and the country is a coordinated effort as evident by the successful fundraising events
around the world and every tiny step is not to be taken for granted.
As we are bombarded with so many images in the media about events transpiring around the earthquake, getting the community involved and recognizing the impact of the devastation will play a critical role in getting assistance in the form of supplies
and money to those affected.
Through this heart-wrenching and shocking event, united through our efforts, we must learn that if there’s anything stronger
than natural forces, it will always be the will of the human spirit.
Please donate funds to rebuild Nepal. Contact
First Time in San Antonio
Shrimad Bhagwat Katha
Pujya Acharya Shri Mridul Krishna
born in the family of Saint Swami Harisdaji Maharaj of the 15 century & is now
the 6th Pramukh Gadi Virajman at Shri Banke Bihari Mandir in Vrindavan
Come to Celebrate Seven Days of
Melodious Bhajans & Kirtan
Chale Anand Ki Aur
June 1, 2015 to June 7, 2015
The Hindu Temple of San Antonio – Texas
(18518 Bandera Road, Helotes, TX 78023)
PROGRAM & TIME
Mon To Fri 6.00 PM To 8.30 PM
Sat & Sun 11.00 To 1.30 PM
Monday, June 1 – Kalash Yatra/BhagwatMahima
Tuesday, June 2 – Shri Dhruv Charitra
Wednesday, June 3 – Shri Narsing Avatar
Thursday, June 4 – Shri Krishna Janam
Friday, June 5 – Giriraj Pujan
Saturday, June 6 – Dandia Raas & Rukmani Vivah
Sunday, June 7 – Shri Vyas Pujan & Holi
Prasadam will be served daily
Smitha Mehta’s Artistry
I was attracted to painting and I wanted to learn to create art; however, familial responsibilities
kept me from my passion. Eventually, my husband, Amit, realizing my fervor for the arts encouraged me wholeheartedly. He also offers constructive criticism that is productive. I know
there are women out there who are talented in their own ways, but due to lack of support from
their spouse, family, or the community may not be able to express their talents. I am fortunate
that I have a supportive family that encourages and appreciates my art.