The Consulate of India in Auckland hosted a grand celebration on the occasion of 72nd Indian Republic Day in the presence of over a hundred community leaders and guests.
26 January is celebrated as Indian Republic Day in India and by the diaspora worldwide. New Zealand being the first to see the sunlight hoisted the Indian tricolour on Tuesday morning at the residence of Hon Consul of India, Bhav Dhillon.
Dressed in ethnic Indian wear, guests and community leaders gathered at the venue saluting as the Consul Bhav Dhillon unfurled the tricolour and showered the attendees with rose petals.
The attendees sang the Indian national anthem 'Jana Gana Man' and chanted slogans 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', 'Vande Mataram' in unison before breaking for the cultural performances and official ceremony.
Speaking at the event, host Hon Consul Bhav Dhillon welcomed the community leaders and thanked them for their presence at the Republic Day celebrations on a working weekday.
Mr Dhillon recalled the sacrifices of freedom fighters, and Dr BR Ambedkar, the architect behind India's Constitution, is revered by the whole world.
Mr Dhillon praised the community members, migrants, Kiwi Indians living here in New Zealand for making one proud and robust diaspora and called for unity and brotherhood amongst all.
The event's cultural part commenced with community member Surjeet Singh Sachdeva singing the heart-rendering patriotic song 'Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon' by India's nightingale Lata Mangeshkar.
Anchal Marwah from Gharelu Gigs, a renowned Auckland-based three-person music band, presented a medley of patriotic songs from the yesteryears and the new numbers to entertain the attendees at the event.
Speaking at the event, Hon Consul Bhav Dhillon reiterated the importance of events such as Indian Republic Day and Independence Day for the diaspora to connect back with their homeland, India, remember their roots and pay their dues to their adopted motherland New Zealand.
The speeches were followed up by impromptu songs by enthusiastic community members, senior members community organisations concluding the event with a light breakfast and mix-n-mingle.
A grand Republic Day celebration was also held in Wellington hosted by the Indian High Commission team with community members and leaders.
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