Indians across the world celebrate R-Day

Islamabad/Beijing: Indians across the world soaked in the spirit of patriotism as they celebrated the Republic Day with fervour today to mark 63 years since the establishment of the Indian constitution.

At the Indian High Commission in the Pakistani capital, High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal hoisted the national tricolour at an official function. Sabharwal read out President Pratibha Patil`s address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day and children of the High Commission`s staff performed patriotic songs. The function was held at the High Commission within the high-security diplomatic enclave in the heart of Islamabad.

Besides the traditional function held in Islamabad, the Indian High Commission will host two events in Lahore on January 27 and Karachi on January 29 to mark the Republic Day. Leading businessmen, politicians, civil society activists and journalists have been invited to these events, at which the High Commissioner will be present.

The Indian Embassy in Beijing too celebrated the Republic Day in its new premises, with charge` d`affairs, Rahul Chabbra hoisting the national tricolour. The ceremony was attended by large number of Beijing-based Indian professionals and their families to celebrate the function at the USD 10 million sand stone structure.
Celebrations were also held at the Shanghai consulate where `Lahiri`, a musical group comprising of members of the Indian community rendered patriotic songs on the occasion.

Indians in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh marked a more sombre celebration, using the day to organise a blood donation camp. The camp organised by members of Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath (TNTJ), a social organisation from Tamil Nadu, donated blood at the King Fahd Medical City (KFMC), while embassies and consulates across the region organised flag-hoisting ceremonies to mark the Republic Day.

The organisation collected around 111 litres of blood from the volunteers as a mark of respect to their motherland, TNTJ President Faisal Mohamed said. The day also saw a kavi sammelan and mushaira being organised on the occasion.

In Moscow, several Indian nationals shrugged off the extreme cold, to assemble at the Indian Embassy where celebrations were led by Ambassador Ajai Malhotra
Ambassador Malhotra also hosted a luncheon reception and cultural performance for Russian and other dignitaries to mark the Republic Day, and flag hoisting ceremonies were also organised by the Indian Consulates in St Petersburg and Vladivostok.

In the South Korean capital Seoul as well the day was celebrated as the Indian community gathered at the Indian mission braving sub-zero temperatures for a brief function. India`s Ambassador Vishnu Prakash unfurled the National Flag and conveyed warm greetings to the Indian community, followed by singing of patriotic songs.

Republican Day reception hosted by Indian Ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad in Kathmandu became one of the rare high profile gatherings in the capital, where half a dozen former Prime Ministers and top leaders of the major political parties met each other. In fact, the gathering became venue for the top political leaders to chit-chat at a time when political deadlock between the ruling alliance led by UCPN-Maoist and the main opposition comprising Nepali Congress and CPN-UML was surfacing amidst stalled peace process.

Government of India also gifted 20 ambulances and four buses to various charitable organisations, schools and hospitals on the occasion.

The Indian tricolour was hoisted at the Embassy/High Commission compounds across the ASEAN grouping in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines, Brunei and Cambodia, by the envoys.

In Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, Indian High Commissioner Vijay Gokhale hoisted the national flag. Scores of Indian expatriates attended the ceremony, despite it being a working day today.

In neighbouring Thai capital, Bangkok, Deputy ambassador Nagma Malik unfurled the flag and read out the speech as Indian nationals and Thai Indians heard her. The ambassador to Thailand is in New Delhi since Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra was this year`s chief guest at the annual Republic Day parade.

In Singapore, Indian High Commissioner T C A Raghavan led the Indian community in the city state to celebrate the day. Besides, about 500 Indians, students from Indian schools in Singapore sang patriotic songs and danced at the celebration held this morning.

In the Philippines capital Manila, Indian Ambassador Yogender Kumar hoisted the national flag as the early morning celebrations were attended by over a hundred Indian nationals.

The diplomatic corps based in Manila, business dignitaries, and other members of the Indian community also prepared for a reception where Philippines Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs, Albert Bel Rosario was the chief guest.