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Indian Culture for the Adoptive Family

Cultural Information

The Hindu Temple of Cincinnati
The Temple has a newsletter that lists its many activities, although you really need an Indian friend to explain what’s what. The Temple can be reached at 513-528-3714.
Directions to the temple are: from I-275 take Route 32 west. Drive about ¼ mile, turn right onto old 74. Turn left at the first stop sign, onto Summerside Rd. Go about a mile, turn right onto Klatte Rd. The road keeps getting smaller until it looks like it’s a driveway, then it opens up and the gates to the temple are before you.


Special Events at the Hindu Temple
Holi, Festival of Color, mid-March
The Holi, a celebration of spring, is celebrated at the Temple with children and adults alike performing dances to music from Indian movies. Some performances are contemporary, some traditional, but all exquisite. After a brief Puja (religious service) an Indian dinner is served, although pizza was offered as well at the 2002&3 events.

If you want your child to participate, start making calls in December or January. Since many of the participants have been dancing extensively for years, you need to find a group that dances on your child’s level, and can accommodate an additional child.

For historical background on the holiday, check out the website: http://www.indiaexpress.com/faith/festivals/holi.html.

Mela, First Saturday after Labor Day every year

This festival, held in the Temple parking lot, celebrates the different regions of India with a show of Indian fashion, a “Taste of India”, tours of the temple, and a dance exhibition. Other activities include game booths, horseback rides, clothing for sale, etc.

Navaratri, Nine Days of Festival, Mid October
Festival in autumn that celebrates the harvest. The event covers two weekends as well as the week between. The evening folk dances are usually held at the Temple on weekday evenings and at a larger venue on Friday & Saturday nights. Participation is high, making the atmosphere one of elated gaiety. A musical group from India's Bollywood, performs for each .

Diwali (dee WAH lee), also called Deepawali, “Festival of Lights”
Can be in October or November
Diwali, or the “Festival of Lights”, is the Indian New Year. It is the biggest holiday of the year. In India, small oil lamps are lit and placed around the home and garden, sweets are exchanged and fireworks abound. Although the Temple has a prayer service and fireworks display, the most child pleasing event is organized by the Ankur Gujarati Sumaj group (see information on this group under “Regional Organizations”). An adult pleasing “Grand Diwali Celebration” is a dinner and concert, featuring top rate Indian musicians, held at UC’s Kresge Auditorium. Tickets are $20 at the gate, $15 if you buy them ahead of time at an Indian grocery.
For historical background on the holiday, check out the website: http://www.indiaexpress.com/faith/festivals/dhistory.html.

Dinners at the Temple
The first Friday of the month, a prayer service is held at 7:00 with dinner served at 8:00. The cost is $5 per person. Indian women volunteer to make the food, which then serves as a fund raiser for the Temple.

Taste of India
In early May, the Association for India’s Development hosts Taste of India at St. Georges Church in Clifton. Local Indian restaurants and shops set up booths to showcase their foods and goods. There is a minimal entry fee and the food is purchased per item. You can also buy Indian movies and music, clothes and accessories. There are fashion shows, dance performances and talks given. If you go, arrive early as it gets unpleasantly crowded later on. Information is available at: www.aidcinti.org

Indian Clothing
Authentic clothing and accessories can be purchased at local boutiques such as Shah’s. They are at 618 Old St. Rt. 74, just off Rt. 32, conveniently near the Temple.

Sheetal Patel runs a small boutique out of her home. Reach her at 936-9655 or sheetalindia@yahoo.com.

“Lily Sarees & Suits Boutique” comes to Cincinnati about once a month. The owner, from Indianapolis, sets up shop in a local hotel room and folks go there to shop. Clothes are displayed on every available surface with many more hung on movable racks. The bathroom serves as a fitting room. Dates in Cincinnati are announced in the temple newsletter, or you can call Lily at 317-823-6915.

Chicago has a great “Little India” section of town with many clothing stores. See the “Chicago” section for details.

Indian Grocer
Indian groceries are a source of authentic Indian foods, as well as movies to be rented, music tapes for purchase, and tickets for major events. If the employees don’t speak English, you can always find a fellow shopper who can help you find what you want. When you check out, always include some of the ready to eat sweets sitting near the register.

There are two good groceries at the Sharonville exit on 275, Niva & Indian Grocers. Niva is a block north on the east side of the road, with Indian Grocers just south, on the west side of the road. Asian Market, 563-9922, is also in Sharonville. Deeps Groceries is in Clifton, at 365 Ludlow, 961-2699. India Grocers is in Roselawn on Reading Rd. Chiva Groceries can be reached at 874-1221. Jungle Jim’s, on Rt. 4 in Fairfield, has a respectable selection of Indian foods, and offers Indian cooking classes as well.

One item you should definitely try is Patak’s curry pastes (concentrates for sauces). They enable the total novice to make great Indian food with very little effort. There are easy recipes on the jars, or you can just sauté vegetables/meats, and serve with a sauce made of the paste mixed with plain yogurt. We really like the Biryani, Mild Curry Paste, and Kebab. The pastes also serve as an exotic marinade for grilled chicken.


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