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Welcome to the December 2016 edition of INDIA LIVE, your source for what's happening with India, presented by the Embassy of India, Washington D.C.

An unprecedented 'Indian American' wave hit the US general elections this year, as Kamala Harris (D-CA) was elected to the Senate and  Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Ami Bera (D-CA) will join the House of Representatives.

Trace India's journey as it marches toward a dynamic future. 
India Is WhatsApp's Biggest Market With 160 Million Users  
WhatsApp's instant messaging and voice calling service is being used by 160 million active users every month in India, its biggest market. In contrast, Facebook, WhatsApp's parent company, had 155 million monthly active users in India as of late October. Even government organizations like police departments are using the service, and so are teachers looking to quickly connect with their students. WhatsApp hit one billion monthly active users worldwide earlier this year  

America Tamil Sangam Honors Rep. Carolyn Maloney's Work
America Tamil Sangam and the Shri Vari Foundation honored Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) for her unwavering support of the Diwali Forever stamp.  Rep. Maloney has for several years led efforts in Congress to recognize Diwali with a commemorative stamp, and said the stamp marks a triumph that exemplifies the meaning of Diwali: "I want to thank the US Postal Service for listening to the voices of the millions of Americans who celebrate this Festival of Lights."

Embassy Celebrates Diwali With 'Forever' Stamp Dedication       

Ambassador Navtej Sarna, along with US Deputy Postmaster General Ronald A. Stroman and other guests, celebrated Diwali and the dedication of the US Postal Service's Diwali Forever stamp at the Embassy of India in Washington, DC.

A record 165,918 Indians were studying in the US during the 2015-16 academic year, a 25 percent increase over the past year that makes India the second leading country of origin among international students in America.

Laughing, yelling, singing and chanting, a steady stream of humanity moves toward the river's edge. Waves of vibrant sarees pulse in and out of timeworn temples and shrines, while eager shop owners vie for attention. As predictable as vegetarian curry is for lunch, their products and services include rafting trips, yoga courses and souvenirs.  Hoping to get in on the action, cheeky monkeys launch surprise attacks on tourists, lapping at their ice cream while "holy cows" do their best to clog main road arteries with their lackadaisical, hefty backsides. Above it all, the smell of freshly fried samosas and tandoor naan mingle with aromas of sweet pastries from one of many German bakeries. Welcome to Rishikesh.