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Summary of Matiya World Convention 2007 - Los Angeles:

The first International Matiya World Convention was a great success!!! There was definitely communication, connection and community present. There were over 1200 participants from all over the world and it was a fun filled, educational, busy two days. Definitely a step in to positive direction for Matiya World.

First day, July 14 2007: began with opening ceremonies, which included Prayer, singing of national anthem of both India and America and welcome speech by Tusharbhai (New Mexico), followed by keynote speakers Chris Howard. Some of the other speakers were David Harrison (Estate planning), Ashwinbhai Patel (Yahoo), and Anilbhai Patel (UL). Followed with Matiya World election process guidelines. There was a Toastmasters communication session. In between the children and youth had their own separate sessions that included a comedy show and survivor game. During the Social hour there was a Bingo session followed by dinner.

The evening entertainment was awesome; talented Matiya dancers from different states, great lighting and beautiful backdrops gave a perfect ending to a perfect day. We ended the day at about 10:30 p.m.

Feedback on first day: The most impressive part was that the full day was on schedule thanks to the support of all the participants. People enjoyed the positive energy Christopher brought and Ashwinbhai and Anilbhai really got the audiences attention as their speeches were catered to Matiya audience. For some people there was too much English. Some speeches in Gujarati would have been useful. Also, a number of people would have liked to have some choice on which session they attended. People enjoyed the fact that place was big and yet atmosphere was cozy so if they were not interested in seminars they can comfortably mingle.

The youth session was for 15-30 year (married and single). This was not very productive for the activity. Singles should have had a separate group with the age being over 21 and the 13-20 should have had their own activity. People enjoyed the dating game and Icebreakers activity was great as they all got to know each other.

Second day, July 15, 2007:  With the late night and out-of-state participants being jet-lagged the day started an hour later than schedule, but that was the only relaxing part of the whole day. The day started with yoga session by Bhupendraji, nutrition presentation by Nayanbhai Patel which had audience riveted the Ziba story by Sumita Bhadra was very informative and Sahara on domestic violence was a eye opener. Then moved on to the Trivia game (which had the audience surfing the net to answer the questions), fashion show and then the Mission Impossible segment before the most wonderful show performed by a music lovers group from Baroda.

Feedback on second day: Even with the delay people enjoyed second day schedule more.  Speakers in the morning and more interactive session in the afternoon was a perfect combination. Mission Impossible C3 was the highlight of the convention - very productive according to the audience much needed. Some people complained about Gujarati speech being too long and they had hard time under standing it. They loved the Trivia Game. Speakers in the morning and interactive sessions in the after noon was a perfect mix.

Mission Impossible C3 (connection, communication, community) - It was a three-part segment in which a panel of 27 men/women from all age groups participated in discussing issues concerning our community. The audience was given paper to give their feedback.

  1. The first segment was a clip from movie Baghban (scene where Amitabh gives speech at release of his book). This led to discussion of issues between caring for seniors/responsibility of parents to their adult children and communication. Some points brought forward were
    • Talking to the children, spending time with them, eating meals together will instill the values in the children.
    • Setting an example for the kids by your actions and not words
    • Parents want their freedom too
    • Encourage the development of senior housing and activities.
    • Most people felt that they had an open relationship with their parents/children.
    • Open communication and acceptance is key ingredients for happier environment.
  2. The next one was a clip from movie Vivah where Anupam Kher explains to his son why he would like him to get married at around age 24 – topic of arranged marriage
    • Everyone agreed the name “arranged marriage” should be changed. It is not like the old days.
    • The younger members brought out the fact that it was more like fast dating with the advantage that the parents had already done most of the homework.
    • Parents should understand what their children are looking for in a life partner.
    • Have realistic expectations.
    • Look at yourself in the mirror and be honest about who you are.
    • Children should respect the wisdom of the elders. Elders should respect the needs of younger generation.
    • Marriage does not just involve the two people getting married. You are marrying into a family and so looking at the family is important.
    • A number of married professional women in their late 30’s-early 40’s felt that it was good for girls to get married around 23-25 age.  Mainly because it is much easier to adjust at the early age, you grow together and professionally your responsibilities increase much more after 7-10 years of career and that way children are already in school.
    • Parents should spend time with their kids and talk to them. Get to know your child and communicate with them.
    • The young adults need to be honest, trust their partner and learn patience and compromise.
  3. The last segment was from Swades where Shahrukh Khan talks about American culture vs. Indian culture. Some items brought out were:
    • Preserve good from our culture.
    • Take best of other culture as we grow and evolve for the better.
    • More events encouraging youth participation
    • Gujarati should be encouraged specially in community events
    • Treat Samaj as your family.
    • Volunteer. Don’t wait to be asked. Help our where necessary.
    • Community leaders/Committee members need to enforce rules. Non-paying members should not be allowed entry. Just as you would scold your child for doing something wrong you should have the courage to stick to the rules without worrying about “Khotu lagi jase”.   Set an example for the future generation. Allowing dishonesty implies you are promoting it.
    • Respect time of volunteers and support them by at least coming to the event if you can't help.
    • Religion is not the same as culture same as traditions. Some traditions that don’t really serve us should be removed.
    • What are core values?  The youths have come up with three (Unity, Evolution & Dedication)

Suggestions from the audience:

  1. Professional Help line – groups where people can post questions.
  2. Send out second package with more details so people are aware of what's taking place - more people would have come if they had the details.
  3. Multiple sessions’ open to all where people can pick the one to attend based on their interest.
  4. More fun/interactive activities – break up session with even 5 min of jokes or some talent item
  5. Career fair – booths with different careers where participants can go to ask questions, College fair.
  6. Variety in the show – plays.
  7. Food was excellent but the menu selection was not the best. First day items were less varied while second day there was too much choice.  Also dinner items didn't’t really go together.
  8. More of panel (like Mission Impossible C3) type of sessions with even why do we of our culture and other topics.
  9. More time for people to mingle.
  10. Youth activities should be broken up for different age groups.

Emails from participants:

“Namaste All,

There are those who “Talk the Talk”……………………….and then there are those who “WALK the TALK”
You all belong to the latter group , one that happens to be very exclusive, that is “Your Actions speak louder than words”  !
Thank you each and everyone of you (as well as anyone else erroneously excluded) for helping us make the First Matiya World Convention a huge success – a direct result of TEAMWORK  !
KUDOS  all around  !!!!!!!”

“Dear Ritaben and all the organizers/volunteers and the supporters of Matiya World,Last week we had this opportunity to meet many of the old friends and many family members. Well, all Matiyas are like one family. I would like to congratulate all of you for an excellent show. It shows very clearly what we can do if we work together.

The reason I am writing this letter is to express my sincere gratitude to all of you who have worked very hard to make this dream possible. I was involved in past in organizing such events locally, so I know how hard it is to put together such an event.

The presentation, speeches, entertainment, choreography, and specially the food – everything was well planned and well executed. Please let everyone involved know that we in general audience do appreciate your hard work and contribution. The goal of preserving our culture is lofty and monumental but we can only start somewhere. No effort is enough. We can only do the best we can. A step in that direction is a step closer to the goal.

Ritaben, thank you for the great website!
Hari Aum!

Thank you very much,
Hasu & Hansa”


I am at a loss of words to express my gratitude and appreciation to you and your convention team for the job well done and executed with such precision. Without you and your teams collective effort, hard work and persistence Matiya World's convention would 't have been a success it was.The entire credit for the success of the convention is for you and your convention team to behold. Kudos!!! to all of you..."

“Best wish to all. Well done. Matiya and all of you are great!!!”
hi Hemant Caca,

"wanted to let you and hemu auntie know that the convention was great.  you guys did a fantastic job pulling it together..."


Convention was great. It set a new standard for us Matiyas. I loved the Mission Impossible C3. We would love to see more of those sessions with may be why do we of our cultures and other issues"


Great convention, Great planning, Great atmosphere, really enjoyed the 2 days in LA...way to go Convention Coordinating Team"


Awesome!!! convention Congratulations to LA Team.

Done with such precision, hard work and dedication and it showed. The best Matiya event I have attended. Loved the Mission Impossible session. Definitely a must next time. About time someone had guts to do it."

"Rita Kaki,

Just want to say we had a great time at the convention. It was perfect. Place was big and atmosphere was great and people that were not interested in the seminars had great time mingling. We enjoyed the speakers. They were all very positive and educational.

Youth session could have been separated in different age group but over all it still went well and we enjoyed meeting other youth from our community.

You guys started out with such a positive speakers like Tusharbhai & Chris, it's ironic that convention's speech ended on kind of a negative node at acknowledgements to change for the future convention.

Over all we all had a great time. Congratulations to you & your entire team.

Way to go LA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

“Congratulations and great job to each and everyone of you for organizing  such a great coordinated convention.

This proves that with dedication and teamwork one can achieve anything.

I wish I was there to assist and  witness this convention. I guess I have to watch glimpse on DVD, if there is any.

I am very much sure that  the message that we tried to deliver reached to our samaj  members, specially young generation.

Once again kudos and great job to each and everyone who has made this event successful.”


"Dear Team,

The convention was most definitely a resounding success.  There was definitely communication, connection and community present.  It is impossible to express what it felt like being there and seeing all the smiling faces, all the Youth, Youngsters, Seniors and Young adults, meeting , greeting, connecting with each other.  Most importantly everyone participating ( the Mission Impossible Panel was amazing).  The speakers fantastic, delivering valuable information.  I have heard great feedback from the Senior Session breakout.  Truly a massive success.  I cannot express enough gratitude to the few that stuck it out to the end.  The vision of Matiya World really did come ALIVE.
I was left with so much possibility of what can be done for the future."

"Again thanks to all that have made this our first successful Matiya convention. "
"Its seems like it has been a resounding success from the responses we have been getting.. The LA teams has performed well and I am glad we had recognized them.
We as Steering Committee must not forget we have made mistakes and lets look back and see and recognize what mistakes we have made in not drawing more people to the convention. We need to give our feedback to the new committee and help them out much as possible to make Matiya World a strong organization and not one that fizzled out. "
Kudos to all on such a successful and phenomenal event!!!  The Youth Subcommittee has been receiving rave reviews for the convention from all youth attendees as well!  Matiya World has planted its seed and now with proper nurturing and attention we will see it grow into an extraordinary organization in the years to come.  Congratulations to the Steering Committee and all volunteers on a job well done!  
I just got an email from ashvin from yahoo asking if we have made video. He loved Mission Impossible section. I tell you guys one thing this is very very impressive. As much as I like each family of matiya who are so successful and I loved the convention and the way it was set up. So perfect and with so much interactive, with all the matiyas there.
I am very very proud being matiya and I salute you all for the dedication and hard work for the fantastic result of the convention.
This makes the statement that we do exist as community to the universe.
I am sure all our youth know who there and where they are going. We must continue the momentum and do better and better for all of us.
We are better of successful as community then individual. This convention has just proved that in two days.
This sets new standard for all the future matiya convention and matiya as  21st century community. I see great things happening to our matiya world community around the globe.
May god bless you all for the courage and strength you and so many more have shown for last two to three years, may this be the seed we are looking for for the connection for the future generation.we will be here for long long  time and community.
Thanks again for the commitment or the matiyas of the world. 
Have a fantastic journey of your life,as we are also taking the journey with  head held high and very very proud to be matiya all my life and to see that happening in more hearts ,now i know why we are matiya.we are the maker of the dreams and big dreams.
So long “
"For those that did not attend the convention this past weekend, I would like to inform you that the convention was a great success.  Matiya World has ignited a flame of pride and community in each that attended.  I can’t possibly explain the feelings, good wishes, and support we got from the attendees.  Not one attendee expressed their dissatisfaction with the convention or Matiya Worlds goals.  The convention exceeded everyone’s expectations including ours!  The LA convention team did a great job in preparing for this event!
Finally, I would like to thank all on the Steering Committee for their hard work bringing this to reality.  Through thick and thin we stuck it out, believed in our cause, and didn't waiver from our goals.  If there is a lesson to be learned here it is that………..when a few put their minds together we can make a difference.  There were many that didn't expect us to be successful………….there were many that didn't think we had it in us……………there were many that saw the glass half empty and not half full……….we proved them all wrong with team work.  Great job!!!"
Greeting All,

It is a honor and privilege to be Matiya and part of the Matiya World. I cannot say enough about the positive feeling I get when I think back to few days ago. I know how much blood, sweat and tears went into the planning of this event. It would not have been a grand success, if it was not for the many people dedicating countless hours of planning. I cannot imagine a better outcome for our first ever convention.
I heard so many positive comments during those two days and continue hearing it now. I saw so much strength in our community from those who attended and do not envy those who could not attend for any reason to see the results of unity and team work. In the face of much criticism and skepticism, I believe we have set a great example of what a little hard work but huge amount of passion can accomplish. I hope the best to new Board of Directors to carry the same passion and energy for years to come.
I want to extend my appreciation and gratitude to every person who stood by me from day one when we first started planning putting all Matiya’s under one roof. It is very difficult for me to name each and every one but my extended thanks to the LA host committee and my fellow Steering Committee members.
All of you please convey my message to youth participants in our cultural program, to all speakers, to Jay Bharat for great catering service, to the registration and decorating team, to all who worked towards sponsorship to meet the budget, to directory committee, to all MC’s, to all who helped in bringing graphics to the screen and to all who helped indirectly.
Let’s use this experience in future planning and set our goal with much more clarity.
Our vision for the convention and shaping of Matiya World to a higher level came to life and I am so proud.

Thank you all”