x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Indians kick off Republic Day celebrations

Indian community in the capital gathers at embassy to kick off celebrations for the 62nd Republic Day of India.

Indian community in the capital gathers at embassy to kick off celebrations for the 62nd Republic Day of India.
Indian community in the capital gathers at embassy to kick off celebrations for the 62nd Republic Day of India.

ABU DHABI // The Indian community in the capital gathered at the embassy early this morning to kick off celebrations for the 62nd Republic Day of India.

MK Lokesh, the Indian ambassador to the UAE, unfurled the Indian flag while a dozen pupils from the Model School, in Musaffah, sang the national anthem.

Later, he read from a speech that was delivered by the Indian president, Pratibha Patil, in New Delhi, in which she extended her "warmest greetings...to those living abroad".

A cultural programme followed Mr Lokesh's reading of the speech, with pupils from several Indian schools in Abu Dhabi, who sang and danced to popular and traditional tunes.

"This is one of two occasions every year when we come together to bond, when you get to see all the members of the community," said Surendra Nath, who has lived in the UAE since 1994."We come to know the pulse of what is going on. This is why we come here every year."

Later today, there are more celebrations planned at the Abu Dhabi Indian School and the India Social and Cultural Centre.

sbhattacharya@thenational.ae