Indians in Philadelphia
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Lifestyle

Night Clubs

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21 Items
by homeis

This is the list of the hottest night clubs in the city. Because, Saturday night.

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Nirav Shah
Shiva Reddy
shaileshkumar Patel
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Indian Caterers

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5 Items
by homeis
Where to source the best Indian food for your wedding/private/corporate event.
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Pritee Patel
Hari Kk
shaileshkumar Patel
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Movies So Bad They Are Good

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by homeis Philadelphia
You don’t need to be a genius to make a bad movie. Literally anyone can do it. But it’s a challenge to make a movie so bad that it transcends into greatness. Making a good “bad” movie is nothing less than an art form. We don’t know if the makers of these movies actually intended to make them this way or it was completely unintentional. Nonetheless, we found these movies so bad that they actually end up being a fun watch. So, we list down Bollywood films so bad that they will have you in splits.
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Darshan Shah
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All Time Top Indian TV Shows

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by homeis Philadelphia
Long before Netflix and Chill was a thing, there were TV shows that we loved and grew up with. "9 bajj gaye kya" still reminds us of KBC. These are shows that have shaped our personality, made us all into detectives, general knowledge experts and even singers. Here's a list of all the shows that we feel are great. Please go through them, vote for your favorite shows and add any shows that we might have missed.
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Recommended Shows Online

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by homeis

Did you watched anything good lately? Add to the list!

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No matter where in India you are from, the feeling is familiar and we all know it. Just when you think you’re having the time of your life walking down Broadway with a Starbucks in your hand, it hits you. And it hits hard. And you just want to take the first plane back. Except, you can’t. Because life. Also, we know tickets need to be booked way in advance if you want a good deal. Here are some ways that I deal with the homesickness and bring a comforting dash of India back in my every day life. 1. Hotstar instead of Netflix and Chill. Hotstar has the most amazing selection of current Indian tv shows and movies across almost all major languages. Putting up my feet with an episode of Koffee with Karan or the Maniratnam movie I missed makes all the difference. 2. Have a random conversation with another Indian. Preferably a complete stranger. One thing that’s amazing about India is that you can develop long standing relationships with your sabziwala, the family you sat next to one time on a train journey, your mom’s tailor! I miss those conversations. Chatting non stop with another Indian that I randomly meet somewhere always makes me feel better. 3. Order in from an Indian restaurant. This is a no brainer. But I’m quite picky about what I order when I’m specifically homesick. Gulab Jamun. Rasmalai. Basically, Indian sweets. Everyone has an Indian comfort food. What’s yours? 4. Call friends you don’t call that often. Most of us call home and family regularly. But now and then, I have to make sure that I speak to some of my friends in India. They keep you rooted and they also let you know that all your favorite brands are now available back home so no big deal. 5. Take your Indian clothes for a walk in the sun. Sometimes you just need to slip into your favorite Biba Kurti or even just wrap yourself in your favorite Razai to feel enveloped by home. I like to find ways to wear something Indian every day, even though I lived in Jeans back when I was home. 6. Find an Indian charity or non profit to donate to. Sitting here, it’s easy to forget all the hardships that people go through back home. Finding causes, charities or even Individuals to give to through sites like Milaap or giveIndia make me feel a little more connected with my country. My personal favorite cause is wildlife sos, a non profit that works very hard to help animals in need in India. 7. Put on some music and dance the blues away. My current favorite song to dance to is Lambhorgini. And I don’t even speak Punjabi. But it doesn’t matter. Put together a playlist of the songs that make you feel like you’re home in your room and dance like Prabhudeva. Don’t worry about the neighbors. Everyone understands. One tip: Do not play songs from Swades. You might cry like I do. One other thing I’ve been doing recently is connecting with other Indians on Homeis. It’s nice to chat with and meet people going through the exact same things as you. Living in Manhattan makes it hard to meet other Indians and this is a really nice space to connect and hopefully, find new ways to be homesick together.
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Maha Shivaratri comes once a year, usually during the 11th month in the Hindu calendar, right before spring arrives. It is known as the Great Night of Shiva. On this day, Shiva is said to have saved the world from destruction, on the condition that people worship him with pride and exuberance. So this holiday symbolises overcoming darkness and ignorance in the world.


It is one of the major festivals within Hinduism culture. During the day, part of the custom is to observe and remember Shiva, by changing prayers, fasting, doing yoga, and meditating. These actions mark virtues of self-restraint, honesty, forgiveness, and kindness. Devotees would offer milk, dhatura, bhaanfg, akwan flowers, and worship the God of destruction, Shiva. Since Shiva is also considered the ideal husband, unmarried girls and women pray for a husband like him.


Many people fast the whole day and night during Maha Shivratri, and attend temple in the morning. In the temple they perform the puja of traditional Shivalingam, and hope to receive what they have prayed to the god. In India, it is custom to take a bath in the holy water of the Ganga early in the morning before sunrise, and wear clean clothes after this sacred bath.


Maha Shivratri is a celebration that holds faith ideal and a lot of cultural presence. It is not simply a “celebration” but a practice of the traditional worshipping ideals and core values of Hinduism.


Happy Maha Shivratri!



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Tipping is an integral part of the American culture. To save yourself some embarrassment, here are some tips to keep in mind. On paper, tipping is an optional reward for good service. But in reality, it is mandatory and expected all over America. Unless you have experienced outrageously bad service, you MUST tip 15-20% as a general thumb rule.


Here are some nuances to note.


Many tipped employees rely on tips to make majority of their income. The American tipping system provides an incentive for employees to provide high-quality service.


Restaurants:

If you are seated in a restaurant, and a waiter/waitress attends to you, you are expected to pay 15%-20% of the bill amount (before taxes). A quick way to calculate the tip is to double the sales tax. You can leave this in cash, or add it to your credit card. (The tip amount will be billed on the credit card as a separate transaction, once the restaurant submits the signed receipts to the bank.)

If you are in a large group, the restaurant may add a gratuity fee. In that case, you do not need to tip.


Bars:

If you are seated by a server, the same above rules apply. However, if you are ordering the bar, you have to tip the bartender depending on the kind of drink you order. If it’s a bottled beer, a dollar per drink is acceptable at a regular bar. However, if you are getting a fancy cocktail, you should tip around $3; $5+ if you are at a fancy bar and your bartender has flair moves!


Other food/drink vendors:

Cafes, delis and street side vendors ask for tips too. However, if you pick up something which is pre-made, or if you order take out or even fast food, tipping is not mandatory. Don’t forget to tip your food delivery guy a couple of bucks, especially if the weather is bad. Grocery loaders should also be paid $1-$5.


Services:

If any human is providing you his/her time and service, you are required to tip them. Beauty Salons, Spas/ Masseuses and Hair Salons are included in this list. If you have a discount voucher for the service, remember that the tip will still be expected on the full value of the service, but it is not held against you if you don’t do that. Pet services also demand the same tip rates.


If you need a plumber, carpenter, caterer, nanny, house or garden cleaner, etc. you will need to pay them 15%-20% tip over their charges. However, for dry cleaning, it isn’t mandatory!


Cabs:

A premium cab service may expect you to pay 10%, but for a regular cab you hail, you should pay around $1-$5 over the ride charges. This rule extends for Uber/Lyft as well, but it is usually done via the app if you have a good experience.


Hotels:

While you do not pay tip on the hotel accommodation bill, you should pay about $5/day to the room cleaning staff. Bellboys, coat checkers and porters generally make $1-$3/bag they carry or for any help they provide. You are not required to pay a tip to your AirBnB host.


Tours & Travels:

If you book a tour, the tour guide and the driver will expect a tip. It is acceptable to give a combined tip amounting to 10% of the tour value. A valet or someone that helps you park/navigate your car should be paid $1-$5 as well. At airports, skycaps are to be tipped similarly.


Gas stations are usually self-service, but not in New Jersey. A couple of bucks should be given to the person who helps you fill gas.


Christmas:

While you buy gifts for your friends and family, don’t forget the people who make your stay comfortable like your doorman and super. It could be steep, but $100 is the norm during Christmas.


Ensure you have small bills handy with you at all times, because usually you will not get back change. Also, it does not look good handing out a $100 bill for a $1 tip and expecting change!


Some services that aren’t tipped are doctors, pharmacies, concierge, gym trainers and government employees like MTA and the police! If you are ever confused about tipping, it is ok to ask if the person accepts tips!


As you spend more time in America, tipping will become second nature to you! You will automatically be able to gauge how much to tip and if it is mandatory or not. Till then, happy tipping!



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Mosques and Dargahs

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by homeis

Holy Masjids and Dargahs in the community.

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Huda Fatima
Maria Ahmed
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