x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Obamas enjoy a day of dance

The US president and his wife visited schools and colleges around Mumbai today to watch children perform traditional dances and talk to students.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama light candles as they celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, as they visit the Holy Name High School in Mumbai.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama light candles as they celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, as they visit the Holy Name High School in Mumbai.

MUMBAI // A day after announcing a series of business deals that will boost the US economy, Barack Obama rolled up his sleeves, and sat back to enjoy the festivities of Diwali.

Michelle Obama joined her husband at the Holy Name School in Colaba in South Mumbai to watch children perform traditional dances. Mr Obama, rolled up his sleeves, patted children on the back and clapped along as they watched the dance performances, including the Koli dance, a lively dance of Mumbai’s indigenous fishing community.

Mrs Obama, much like her first day here, spontaneously broke into dance with the group of pupils, matching their steps while Mr Obama sat back and watched and smiled before attempting to fall in step with the first lady. On Saturday, Mrs Obama danced to Rang De Basanti, a popular Bollywood song when visiting a group of college students who volunteer their time to teach orphans, English.

It was followed by an e-chat with villagers in Kanpura in Rajasthan who talked to Mr Obama about how their lives had been transformed by technology.

After that, the first lady introduced her husband to college students at St Xavier’s College who, after a brief speech, took questions from the audience.

He reached out to the student community and reminded them that they were the future of the world, about to play an important role in developing the country and influencing world politics. “I come not just to speak but to listen,” he said. I want to have a dialogue with you.” 

sbhattacharya@thenational.ae