• slider1
  • slider2
  • slider3
  • slider4
  • slider5
  • slider6
  • slider7
slider11 slider22 slider33 slider44 slider55 slider66 slider77

A Warm Welcome

Gujarati Samaj of Western New York was established in mid 1970’s mainly to allow children from Buffalo area to take part in Garba-Raas competition in Toronto. Earlier to this, few family friends organized group dinners during Diwali and other celebrations. Everyone’s children were little and growing up in their new adopted country. To expose children to Indian and Gujarati culture few activities like storytelling from scriptures like Ramayana and dances like Garba-Raas were taught. Asha and Kishore Divan were instrumental in getting community together for varios activities. Many of their friends like Gita Shah, Rashmi Parekh, Harshad Shah, Rekha Shah, Ashit Shah, Poonam Patel, Manjuben Hathi, Manju Katria, Nayan Rana, Bharat Patel, Jash Patel and others helped in early years.

Children were taught Garba-Raas and prepared for competition in Toronto and other places. Asha Diwan and Gita Shah were responsible for this. Number of non-Gujarati speaking children also took part in these activities.

Main activities from early years were:

  • Spring Dinner
  • Summer Picnic
  • Navratri Raas Garba
  • Laxmipujan
  • Diwali Dinner

In those years not much was available readymade and no restaurants were there to help. All the food items were cooked by all the ladies getting together. All the members of Samaj worked and helped like one family. FOGA (Federation of Gujarati Association) organized annual competition and Guajarti Samaj of Western New York participated in many of these and won a few trophies. Children also took part in competitions in Cleveland.

In early 1980’s, Buffalo and Erie County organized Ethnic Heritage Festival and Gujarati Samaj was represented there with food stalls and Garba-Raas. Besides regular activities at various times, programs like Anand Bazar, Hindi Movies, Vartalap with Shri Bakul Tripathi, Letchworth Park bus for fall colors were also organized and were well attended.

In 1987, Kishor Diwan was elected President of FOGANA (Federation of Gujarati Association of North America) and he took responsibilities od organizing that function in Buffalo. Over 190 children from places like Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Houston, Toronto, Washington, Dallas and New York City took part in this very successful program.

In late 1990’s, Poonam Patel, Prakash Vyas, Jash Patel followed by Prakash Rajyaguru with the help of other committee members took responsibilities of the Samaj. In 2008 and 2009, Kishor Diwan and since 2010, Ramesh Patel with their team has organized various events for the Sama