August 15 is a very important day for Indians, whether at home or aboard. In Christchurch too, it was celebrated at multiple events throughout the day.
It started with Indian Social and Cultural Club's flag hoisting ceremony in the morning where Shirish Paranjape, Community Board member at the Christchurch City Council, led the community in taking the New India Pledge – unveiled recently by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Let us pledge to free India from poverty, dirt, corruption, terrorism, casteism, communalism and create a 'New India' of our dreams by 2022,” the pledge reads.
Later, two separate events were organised by the international offices of Ara Institute of Canterbury and University of Canterbury in collaboration with the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) Christchurch.
University of Canterbury Indian Independence Day celebrations
“Our aim was to bring together Indian international students at both Ara and the University, and to reassure them our social and culture support. It also gave us a chance to celebrate the Indian Independence Day with the wider community,” Surinder Tandon, coordinator of GOPIO in Christchurch said.
Hitesh Sharma, Event Coordinator at Ara, who helped organise the event added, “What a fantastic turnout it was. We did it for the first time in Ara, which was the icing on the cake.”