!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> Kasturi Kannada Cultural Association Diwali Celebration
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Kasturi Kannada Diwali Celebration

Kasturi Kannada Cultural Association
Diwali Celebration
Strongsville Recreation Center
November 12, 2022

The Kasturi Kannada Cultural Association which is a non-profit, social, linguistic and cultural organization; incorporated under the Non Profit Corporation act of the State of Ohio, to integrate, coordinate, network and unite the activities of all Kannadigas, to preserve and promote the Kannada language and culture in Northeast Ohio; celebrate, experience and enjoy authentic cuisine from various parts of Karnataka.

Kasturi Kannada banner


Karnataka is a state in the southwestern region of India. Its capital and largest city is Bangalore.

Flag of Kannada

The Kannada flag is widely used in Karnataka


The group was founded in 1984 and they meet to celebrate the three major festivals of Karnataka namely Ugadi, to welcome the New Year, Ganesha Pooje, to pray to the Lord of learning and Deepavali the festival of lights. They also have an annual picnic. In this video, Deepa Rao, president of the Kasturi Kannada Cultural Association and her husband Arun Rao, also on the Executive Committee, speak about the association. Unfortunately the music came on during the interview but you can still hear the speakers.

NOTE: All the images below with a white arrow in the middle are videos. (The other images are just photos) You can click on the white arrow to watch the video of whatever is described. Make sure your speakers are on and you can make the video full screen once it begins by clicking the icon in the lower right corner.



The celebration attracted 500 or so guests and I was honored to attend as a special guest.



Cultural performances included the portrayal by children of the celebrated folk tale of Karnataka of the tiger and the cows.

Folk tale of the tiger and cows


See more photos and a video of the performance

There was dancing, singing and other cultural performances.

Young ladies dancing at Diwali event



Dancers at Diwali event

Mrs and Dr Naveen Uli singing

Mrs.Chandrika Gopal and Dr. Naveen Uli singing


I was surprised to hear from Dr. Naveen Uli that while some think of the Indian diaspora as monolithic, in reality it is very diverse linguistically and in other ways. He said that there are dialects of his own home language spoken in Karnataka that even he cannot understand. He said that Hindi serves as the national language but even Indian currency has 15 other languages listed.



There were also informational resources including Cleveland Clinic doctors doing health tests. It was interesting to learn of the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease among the South Asian population considering the perception of the Indian diet being more healthy than Western diets.

We were fortunate to speak with two renown cardiologists who explained. Dr. Aravinda Nanjundappa is a cardiology specialist at Cleveland Clinic's main campus. He said that despite the seemingly healthier diet, the Indian population actually suffers from heart disease earlier in life than Caucasians. In addition, life expectancy is lower for this group. Dr. Nanjundappa gives his recommendations to get and stay healthy.



We then spoke to another interventional cardiologist, Dr. Deepakraj Gajanana. He said that when he sees the disease burden of someone he wishes the patient could go back in time 5-10 years and make lifestyle changes so they would not be on his table. He said that people from India, Pakistan, China, Nepal, etc. generally have smaller size of arteries which leads to problems.



Kasturi Kannada Shaale is a Kannada Language School in Cleveland. There are more than 45 students and 16 volunteers (teachers) teaching kids the Kannada Language.

Watch them on stage in this video.



There were other community resources such as the Save Soil group.



And of course there was delicious food.

Serving food at Diwali event


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Enjoy these other images from the Kasturi Kannada Cultural Association Diwali celebration.

Kasturi Kannada Cultural Association group at Diwali

Mr.Ravi Alangar, Mrs. Savitri Rao, Mrs.Meena Mahesh
Mrs. Deepa Rao, Mrs. Mamatha Girish and Mr.Girish Hanumaiah


Kasturi Kannada Cultural Association Diwali group photo


Kasturi Kannada Cultural Association Diwali group photo


Kasturi Kannada Cultural Association Diwali group photo


Kasturi Kannada Cultural Association Diwali group photo


Mamatha Girish and Ravi Alangar

Mamatha Girish and Ravi Alangar


Meena Mahesh, Deepa Rao and Mamatha Girish

Meena Mahesh, Deepa Rao and Mamatha Girish


Ram Appana

Ram Appana


Kannada language  group on stage


Kannada language  group on stage


Kannada language  group on stage


Kannada language  group on stage


Kannada language  group on stage


Kannada language  group on stage


Kannada language  group on stage


Kannada language  group on stage


Kannada language  group on stage


Serving food at Kasturi Kannada Diwali event


Serving food at Kasturi Kannada Diwali event


Serving food at Kasturi Kannada Diwali event


Serving food at Kasturi Kannada Diwali event

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