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Cool refreshments offered at Hindu temple in Yuba City
Diya Mehta, an 8-year-old Las Vegas girl, visited Yuba City on the Fourth of July to pass out free soda pop with her grandparents.
Nirjal-Akadshi Day is a hybrid tradition blending a Hindu and American cultures on the Fourth of July, explained Paul Mehta.
"In India, it's done in June, but we do it in July to celebrate both America and Eastern cultures," Mehta said. "It's unity and harmony and not being isolated, but celebrating one country that has both cultures."
And the fruit and soda pop are free.
For the last 15 years, members of the Sri Narayan Hindu Temple have passed out fresh fruit and cold drinks to travelers on Franklin Road in Yuba City.
"It gets bigger and bigger every year," Mehta said.
Sumit Sharma, 14, has participated each year for the last four years.
"We never get anyone who doesn't like it," the Yuba City teenager said.
The ancient tradition began with wealthier people passing out water and food gifts to travelers.
For little Diya Mehta, it's a fun way to make people feel good.
"It makes me feel happy, too," she said as a large van pulled into the curbside station.
"We have about 20 people," a passenger said through his window.
"Oh, wow, what a big customer!" young Diya exclaimed as she scurried off to grab and armful of water bottles, apples and bananas.
Yuba City's Patrick Daley was one of the nearly 3,000 grateful motorists served on Wednesday.
"It's really great," Daly said. "It's a great day for a cold drink and fresh fruit, and it's hard to find someone willing to give just for the sake of giving."
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