UAE: 3-day weekend announced at some Indian schools

Those observing a holiday on January 26 will commemorate the Republic Day on Thursday

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Nandini Sircar

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Published: Wed 24 Jan 2024, 6:40 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jan 2024, 9:08 PM

Some Indian schools in Dubai will enjoy a three-day weekend as the South-Asian nation's Republic Day coincides with a Friday this year.

India will observe its 75th Republic Day on January 26, with many Indian-curriculum schools in the UAE gearing up to celebrate the day enthusiastically. Meanwhile, some Indian-curriculum schools in the Emirates have been sending out circulars to parents informing them that the schools will remain closed on this day.

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Republic Day is a public holiday in India commemorating the adoption of the Constitution on November 26, 1949, which officially came into effect on January 26, 1950. The selection of January 26 as Republic Day holds historical significance, as it marks the day in 1930 when the Indian National Congress proclaimed the Declaration of Indian Independence.

Those observing a holiday on January 26 will either commemorate the day on Wednesday or mark the occasion on Thursday.

Mohammed Ali Kottakulam, Principal, Gulf Indian High School Dubai, said, “The 75th Republic Day was celebrated with pride and reverence at our school on January 24, 2024. Our students put up a short and soul-stirring presentation on the period starting from the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919 (a turning point in India's modern history) till we achieved freedom in 1947, surmounting all odds.”

He added, “Our tiny tots danced to a famous patriotic song showcasing their love for their country and its rich heritage. They learnt how the great sons of the motherland had fought to attain freedom and make India a sovereign state. The children felt inspired and participated actively in the Republic Day celebrations. Students also showed their creative skills in a poster-making competition depicting the ‘Unity in Diversity’ theme. The school will remain closed on Friday.”

Schools typically showcase a multi-hued image of India's rich cultural heritage, followed by the students' vibrant parade comprising tableaux from different States and cultural performances.

Archana Sagar, Principal, Amity School Sharjah, said, “In our school, Republic Day holds immense significance as it becomes a bridge connecting our students to the rich tapestry of India's culture, values, and history. Our school is closed on Fridays as we are located in Sharjah, so Republic Day was celebrated with great fervour on Wednesday, January 24. Our assembly was a poignant tribute to the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters, fostering a deep understanding of the importance of this day and the Constitution of India.”

“We are closed on Fridays, and the eve of Republic Day witnessed a vibrant assembly featuring dance performances, choir singing, and a thought-provoking skit that magnifies the significance of this patriotic day,” said Sangeeta Chima, Principal, Amity School Dubai.

At Delhi Private School (DPS) Dubai, the Republic Day Celebrations mean a grand marchpast of almost 4,000 students to mark the occasion.

Rashmi Nandkeolyar, Principal and Director, DPS Dubai, said, “We will hold our celebrations on Thursday, and school will be closed on Friday on the occasion of the Republic Day. The celebrations in our school entail hoisting the Indian flag and singing the national anthem. The KG students will dress up as freedom fighters, and the older students will perform aspirational dance dramas, paying tribute to India’s rich history and pledging to be contributing, responsible citizens. Staff members will also get dressed in the Indian flag colours.”

Meanwhile, certain institutions in Dubai will celebrate the day on the school grounds instead of giving a day off.

The Consul General of India, Satish Kumar Sivan, will unfurl the Indian national flag at the Indian High School, Oud Metha campus on the occasion and formally inaugurate “Viksit Bharat Atulya Bharat” (a comprehensive plan by the Indian government to transform India into a developed nation by 2047).

Punit MK Vasu
Punit MK Vasu

CEO of The Indian High Group of Schools, Punit MK Vasu, explained the theme for the celebrations this year revolves around the country’s rapid advances and the power and impact of women in shaping many of them.

He said, “It is with great thought and deliberation that we pick the theme for each year’s performance. This year, we’ve decided to go with “Viksit Bharat Atulya Bharat” and the exclusive “Nari Shakti” (Power of Women) that powered such a nation. It is important that our lessons keep alive the glory of our past, the reality of the present, and the hopes for our future. The history of our country and the UAE is replete with examples of such individuals, and this year, we picked the women among them to throw the spotlight on.”

Principals highlight songs, dances, and festooned tableaux, which will also portray and celebrate nature’s influence on the country’s traditions.

Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO-Principal, Credence High School, said, “We believe in commemorating this significant occasion within the school premises with immense pride and enthusiasm. A special assembly is scheduled for January 26 to celebrate Republic Day, involving activities across all grades. There will be a flag-hoisting ceremony, and we will all proudly sing the National Anthem. We wish to instil patriotism and national pride in our students and bring a spirit of unity and respect for our nation’s values."

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