JACKSONVILLE, FL (August 11, 2018) – District 11 Council Member Danny Becton and the Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville let freedom ring at an India Independence Day event held on Saturday.
ICS hosted the special event to celebrate India’s 72nd year of Independence and invited Councilman Becton to join them as the Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker. The organization’s Independence Day event was held at the University of North Florida in the Robinson Theatre on August 11th.
Members of ICS of all ages attended and were dressed to impress, wearing beautiful attire that embraced their Indian Culture and the event’s theme “Unity in Diversity”. The event consisted of a show full of performances varying from songs, dances, skits, a Fancy Dress Competition and Awards.
The event started at 4:00 p.m. but the crowd continued to grow inside and outside the theater throughout the evening with ICS members, as well as their families and friends. The show opened with a hoisting of the India and the American Flag along with the pledge. Councilman Becton and his wife, Linda Becton, took the stage with several leaders of the local organization and multiple members to sing each country’s national anthem. After honoring the flags, the emcees’ welcomed the honorary guests, Councilman Becton and his wife, with a sweet introduction and two flower bouquets.
Councilman Becton then took the podium for his keynote address which began by thanking the organization for the invitation to ICS’s memorable event on their special national holiday.
Councilman Becton’s remarks are as follows:
I want to first Welcome everyone here and to say Thank you for this invitation on this very special National Holiday and to wish everyone a Happy Independence Day as the Country of India Celebrates 72 Years of Independence!
It’s a great honor to be your guest this evening as District 11 is the home to so many Indian-American families and friends. The diverse cultural environment of this area provides many assets for families as Indian businesses of all types have taken root and provide for the needs and traditional values that make this area home, Right Here in Jacksonville and Right Here in District 11.
As you might believe, District 11 is one of the fastest growing areas of our city and it is the Indian-American community that is a big part of that growth. As a culture known for being a highly educated family unit with over 70% of family members having a college diploma and 40% of 25 years or older having a graduate or professional degree, it is incumbent that the Indian-American community not sit back, but get involved.
Your business acumen and energy are too valuable to waste and we are fortunate that you’ve decided to make Jacksonville your home. I encourage you to put your stamp on our city’s future and as professionals, get involved with your local neighborhoods and community organizations and to have a say in how our city is shaped and grows.
Again, it is a great asset of our city to have this type of diversity which makes our city strong, our city unique and our values universal. The diversity of the Indian-American culture is a big part of what makes our country great!
On this day, it is important that we take this time to celebrate Independence Day.
This occasion in India’s history similar to our own here in the United States sought the nationalistic fervor and the path for freedom whereby historical brave men and women set out in search of self-government, personal freedoms and the freedom of religion.
The ability to carve a path in the best interest of one’s country and not some foreign monarchy did not come easy and without sacrifices; for that we should always remember.
Today, 72 years later and in America 242 years ago, the fight for those rights from independence is on-going. It is always a struggle to protect these freedoms and values for which we hold so dearly.
It is only by remembering the past, the sacrifices that were made and that never getting complacent in forgetting those who fought and died for these rights as a result of independence, Never Be Diminished.
This is what we should always remember and hold sacred.
In closing, I want to thank you again for this honor and opportunity to kick off such a special event for the Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville and on behalf of the entire Jacksonville City Council, we extend a happy 72nd Independence Day to you all!
The rest of the show consisted of many acts of entertainment performed by members and non-members in memory of India’s fight towards independence.
A Fancy Dance Competition was held for groups of all ages who dressed up as Freedom fighters of India, prepared a 15 second dialogue and demonstrated what freedom fighters did to help their country reach Independence.
About 10 regional groups performed multiple dances and songs embracing the event’s theme of unity and four additional groups, which ranged from little kids to adults, performed Bong melody representing their diverse culture.
The fun continued with the announcement and distribution for several competitions JAXICS conducted prior to the Independence Day event.
The Indian Cultural Society was formed in Jacksonville in 1972 and held its first Diwali function at Jacksonville University’s Student Center. In the beginning ICS consisted of only the 20 to 25 families who founded the organization. The non-profit has grown exponentially over 46 years and states “thousands of people representing several Indian cultures contribute to the success and growth of ICS every year.” According to the organizations website, ICS is a “non-religious cultural organization aimed at people of Indian origin and people interested in the Indian culture” with a purpose to promote and celebrate Indian culture and national programs.
For more information about the Indian Cultural Society of Jacksonville and how to get involved in its Executive and Youth Committees, visit its website, http://jaxics.org/.
Check out photos of the event in the Photo Gallery
Posted on Sat, August 11, 2018
by Danny Becton