UAE: Indian expats brave rains for Republic Day celebrations

Patriotic songs, traditional dance performances, flag-hoisting ceremonies and speeches organised for diaspora in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

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KT photo by Neeraj Murali
KT photo by Neeraj Murali

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Thu 26 Jan 2023, 4:30 PM

Last updated: Fri 27 Jan 2023, 5:25 PM

Colourful celebrations at the embassy in Abu Dhabi and Consulate General of India in Dubai marked the 74th Indian Republic Day in the UAE.

In Dubai, Consul General Dr. Aman Puri hoisted the Indian flag within the consulate’s premises where despite the inclement weather, community members and social workers turned up in colourful traditional clothes at 8am.

In Abu Dhabi, Indian Ambassador Sanjay Sudhir proceeded with the flag hoisting ceremony in the presence of community members, after which he addressed the gathering. Both Sudhir and Dr Puri read out from excerpts from the speech of Indian President Droupati Murmu, who addressed the country on Wednesday. In her maiden Republic Day speech, Murmu spoke on a wide range of topics including India’s economy, the Covid pandemic and the G20.

Sudhir also honored several community members who contributed to welfare of the Indian diaspora in the UAE.

KT photo by Neeraj Murali
KT photo by Neeraj Murali

In Dubai, students from the Ambassador School sang a medley of patriotic songs including 'Ae mere watan ke logo' (oh people of my country) and 'I love my India'. They ended their performance with a call of “Bharat mata ki jai” (long live Mother India) which was echoed by all attendants in the hall.

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

“We practised for more than 2 hours every day for almost two weeks,” said sports captain Sarah. “We learnt a total of 9 songs, but it wasn’t too hard because we were practising regularly.”

This was followed by vibrant dance performances to patriotic songs. Dancer and author Karuna Rathor was one of those who attended the event. “The children danced so well for their age,” she said. “The beauty about Indian celebrations is how colorful they are and how everyone can connect to it. I really enjoyed the morning.”

KT photo by Neeraj Murali
KT photo by Neeraj Murali

Little Laina Andy, who was dressed in traditional attire, said she enjoyed the function. “The dance was so colourful,” she said. The five-year-old also said that she couldn’t wait for her next academic year as she would learn Hindi in school. “Right now I can speak English,” she said. “But English is not an Indian language. When I am in Grade 1, I will learn Hindi, which is an Indian language. My grandparents speak Tamil. When I grow up, I will learn Tamil also.”

Indian expats Shankh Banerjee and his wife Namrata were attending the celebrations at the Indian consulate for the first time in their five-year stay in the country. “Our daughter Sanika was performing today, so we came to watch her,” said Shankh.

For 11-year-old Sanika, a student of Delhi Private School Dubai, participating in the dance performance was a novel experience. “We practised for about 15 days,” she said. “It was my first time performing at the Indian consulate and I really enjoyed it.”


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