15 August 2017 By Sajila Saseendran & Binsal Abdul Kader, Senior Reporters
Abu Dhabi/ Dubai: Hundreds of Indian expats gathered at their country's missions on Tuesday to celebrate the 71st Indian Independence Day.Patriotic Indians chanted slogans praising their motherland before the Indian flag was hoisted at the premises of the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai.
People wearing clothes in tricolour the young and the old and women and men sang the Indian National Anthem.The top diplomats also read out excerpts from the Indian President's address to the nation on the eve of the Independence Day.
In his speech addressing the public at the consulate's auditorium, the Consul General announced that 70 events will be organized throughout the year to commemorate the 70 years of India's Independence.
Cultural programmes showcasing the nation’s tradition and heritage were held at the consulate as part of the festivities.
Ramdas Rao and his wife Sapna, who run their family business in Dubai, came to the consulate with their two children born and raised in Dubai.“Dubai is a home away from home. You don’t feel you are away from India. But still, this is the day we feel the spirit of India more in our hearts. And this is the day our children who live away from the country can learn more about their motherland feel connected to their roots. The efforts of the consulate to bring out that spirit really need to be appreciated,” said Sapna.
Albeit being migrants for generations, she said the family keeps the Indianness alive in them. “My father had started his business in the UAE in 1958 and went back to India only last year. I was born and raised here and my children too. But my father always used to say that we need to feel rooted to India wherever we live. And that is why you can see my family including my son who is on a short visit to us from the US made sure we come dressed in tricolour and be on time to attend the function.”
Munish Kumar, an assistant manager with an interior fit-out company, also came along with his wife two young children with the very purpose of getting the new generation closer to India.
“This is the second time my kids are attending the function here though I have been coming regularly for five-six years ever since I heard about the consulate’s celebrations. We bought the tricolour stickers and flags over the weekend and kids were very excited to take part in the event. Coming from Sharjah, we had to wake up at 4am to be on time for the 8am function in the consulate. We are so happy to see the happy and smiling faces of our fellow Indians celebrating the country’s rich history and heritage.”
© Gulf News 2017