The Charotaria Leuva Patidar Seva Samaj (CLPSS) is a community of Indians who in India are collocated but in the United States and other parts of the world are spread apart. The purpose of the Samaj is to help people keep in touch as well as to pass down our culture from one generation to the next.
A few weekends ago (Nov 27-29) I attended the CLPSS convention in Atlanta, GA. I generally don’t enjoy such conventions mostly because it’s a lot of chit chatting, which I’m not particularly good at, and things are generally very loud. By things, I mean the visual decoration, the music, people, clanking of spoons or chumchas at the buffet line. However, I did get to meet some new people, almost all of Mansi’s mother’s family was in town. Some of Mansi’s cousins came down for the trip and stayed with us, which was great. It was sad to see them go although I don’t mind the recovered floor space ;).
While there were many events which involved learning about our culture, I don’t feel like any of them were geared towards the youth. Most were held in the morning which didn’t work to well given that there were plenty of late evening outings scheduled. Also, many events were held concurrently with off-site activities for the youths. This accomplishes getting people to meet each other but it does very little to pass on culture, in the historical sense, from one generation to the next.
The weekend definitely had it’s ups and downs. It was great to meet so much of Mansi’s family, many of them couldn’t make it to our wedding. Also nice was seeing how happy Mansi was when she got to meet everyone. For me the best part of the weekend was the few hours I spent in the hotel lounge watching Georgia Tech beat UGA (no offense convention organizers but I’ve been waiting 7 years). All in all, I’d say it was good weekend for the people but I don’t think I properly experienced the program itself.