Located in the hub of Milpitas, California, the India Community Center is home to many generations of the community who are dedicated to spreading Indian culture.
The goal of the center is to create a place where people of different generations and cultures can practice and share unique traditions and festivals.
“It is a cultural center for Indian culture, but it is also a community center and we are open to everybody and anybody can come here and benefit from the services we provide,” says Poorvi Adavi, the community center’s Marketing Manager.
To provide social, cultural, educational, professional and recreational opportunities, the India Community Center offers a myriad of programs. These programs include the Senior program, Teen program and the Preschool program which are directed towards citizens of all ages in the community.
“We engage young minds,” Adavi says. “We engage kids in Indian culture and we have different courses.”
Aside from the Senior, Teen and Preschool program, the ICC also offers many different courses such as Bollywood classes and Bengali language class.
Many of these classes, such as the Bollywood dance camp, are led by community volunteers. One of these volunteers is junior Simran Pujji.
“I worked with elementary schools kids in the bollywood dance camp and a science camp that ICC offers,” Pujji says. “I worked with the preschoolers who go to the community center.
What Pujji liked most about her volunteer work at the ICC was the interaction she had with the kids.
“I really enjoyed working with the students,” Pujji says. “I also got to learn about Indian culture…It was a new experience for me to work with elementary kids and have to be in charge of them.”
To celebrate Diwali, there is an annual fall family fiesta held at the India Community Center. During this festive time, kids come to the event to create crafts and projects and give back to the community.
“Kids will come and they learn how to make sidias and do different arts and crafts and we have also blended it into harvest activity,” Adavi says. “Kids will learn how to make small food bags, small sandwiches…then we will distribute the food bags to homeless shelters. We help children understand what it actually means to spread joy and spread the love.”
For older members of the center, the ICC provides numerous activities through their Senior Program. The activities offered are composed of Jollywood Dancers troupe, a theater group, knitting club, bridge club and a computer class.
The ICC also tends to the needs of athletes of the community with their table tennis program, North America’s largest dedicated table tennis center. In the 11 years that it has been open, the table tennis program has produced several Olympic members of Team USA, including Paly alum Lily Zhang.
“Our mission is to unite, serve, and celebrate,” Adavi says.