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Indian expat community marks Republic Day in style Sajila Saseendran / 27 January 2014 Thousands of Indian students showcase the unity in diversity of their country on its 65th Republic Day. Indian Republic Day celebrations at Indian High School in Dubai on Sunday. – KT photos by Shihab Thousands of Indian students donned the roles of cultural ambassadors on Sunday morning, showcasing the unity in diversity of their country on its 65th Republic Day. The over two million-strong Indian community, which forms the largest expatriate group in the UAE, celebrated the day to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India as the governing document of the world’s largest democracy on 26 January, 1950. The official celebrations in Abu Dhabi took place at the premises of the Indian Embassy. The Indian Ambassador to the UAE, TP Seetharam, raised the national flag in the presence of over 800 Indians from all walks of life. A large group of Indian workers also attended the event during which the envoy read out excerpts from the Indian president Pranab Mukherjee’s address to the nation on the eve of the Republic Day. In Dubai, the official celebrations took place at the Indian High School (IHS) following a flag-hoisting ceremony at the Indian Consulate. Chairman of IHS, L.M. Pancholia, welcomed the gathering comprising children’s parents, senior members of the community and consular officials. Consul-General of India in Dubai, Anurag Bhushan, unfurled the tricolour and hoisted it once again at the event in the IHS. This was followed by recital of the National Anthem by the school choir. A march-past of 243 students followed, adding grandeur to the celebration. Speaking on the occasion, the Consul-General said: “This is a special day to remember the sacrifices of our founding fathers who participated in the freedom struggle, and the members of the armed forces who guard our borders.” He also read extracts from the President’s address, which highlighted the importance of the democratic set up of the country. “India’s true strength lies in her republic; in the courage of her commitment, the sagacity of her constitution, and the patriotism of her people. 1950 saw the birth of our Republic. I am sure that 2014 will be the year of resurgence,” it said. The president’s message also reminded Indians the need for introspection and action to re-discover the sense of national purpose and patriotism. Showcasing the young generation’s patriotic spirit, nearly 2,000 students from IHS Dubai’s junior and senior campuses and the International Indian High School in Silicon Oasis presented colourful and synchronised performances. The theme for this year’s celebrations revolved around a message: “Let there be progress, peace and prosperity…Mere Bharat, Yashaswi Bhava!” The two-hour long performances, which also saw boys dressed up as India’s freedom fighters, concluded with the children holding placards saying ‘Our People…Our Strength’ and “Bravo Dubai” for the Expo 2020 win. NM Aboobaker, whose son participated in a performance, said the performances by the students wearing the tricolour and ethnic attires of various Indian states were splendid. “When people in Delhi get to see the performances of adults, it is the children over here who perform to the tunes of patriotic songs and rekindle the nostalgic feelings and nationalistic emotions of the expatriates.” For Rosy George, one of the senior most teachers in the school, whose birthday falls on Republic Day, the celebrations in Dubai always made her feel at home. “I have been here for 33 years and these functions make me feel as if I am in India,” said the head of the English Department in the Senior Girls’ Section who was seen being wished by students on her 60th birthday. email@example.com For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/khaleejtimes , and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes Continue reading →
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