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REGIONAL DIGEST—PHILADELPHIA AREA Vaikasi Visakam Celebrations at the Raja Ganapathy Temple

by nagammai bhaskar

The Sixth Annual Vaikasi Visakam festival was celebrated on Sat. June 11th, 2011 at Sri Raja Ganapathy Temple in Swedesboro, New Jersey. The annual tradition of celebrating Lord Muruga‘s incarnation was initiated by the Philadelphia area Nagarathars two years prior to the construction of the temple. Initial temple design did not include a sannadhi for Lord Muruga but, the inaugural Vaikasi Visakam festival held in 2006, influenced the temple committee to include a sannadhi for Lord Swaminatha Swamy. Besides Paal Kudam and Kaavadi, the festival hosts the only auction held at the temple. Many Nagarathar families from Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey participated in the festival, which is now embraced by the larger Indian community. Grandparents visiting from India were delighted to see their American-born grandchildren offering Kaavadi and Paal Kudam in praise of Lord Swaminatha

Swamy. Housewarming Party

into their new home in Exton, PA on the 6th of June 2011. Several relatives & friends joined hands to wish them all the best, at the House Warming Party hosted by them on Sunday, 12th June 2011.

Men’s Cookout on Father’s Day Eve

Muthiah, Kalyani, Sneha & Varsha moved

On 18th June 2011, an army of Philadelphia Chettiars under the guidance of their Chief Chefs, Bhaskar Sundaram and Ramasamy Pasupatham, marched into the Buyers Station Club house in Exton, with just one thought in mind—to put out their best dishes on the table.

―Caution: Men at Work‖ was the sign posted outside the kitchen! While the men were too busy chopping, cooking and cleaning, their families were enjoying a picnic at the Marsh Creek Lake. At about 1:30 p.m. the hungry families were treated to a three course meal

that included vegetarian and

non-vegetarian dishes. The aromatic meal was an awesome treat to the eyes and to the taste buds. Since it was Father‘s Day Eve, all the dads cut the Father‘s Day Cake and were

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handed Roses by their beloved kids along with some great messages for their dads. Thus, one more talent amongst the Philadelphia Chettiars was uncovered!

Philadelphia Nagarathars at the NJ Retreat

About eleven families from this region were amongst the thousands of people who participated in the Retreat over the July 4th weekend. Kavitha Sukumar, Sneha Muthiah, Shanthi Bhaskar and Preethi Bhaskar danced for a Tamil folk song and four of the couples participated in a game show called ―Sirippom Sindhippom‖ hosted by Somalay Somasundaram.

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