The Auckland War Memorial Museum on Tuesday, August 15 lit up in the colours of the Indian flag to commemorate the 71st anniversary of India’s independence.

Lighting up the museum in in the colours of the Indian flag was an initiative of the High Commission of India in New Zealand which earlier in the day hoisted the Indian flag in Wellington.

Excited to see the iconic building in tricolour, hundreds braved the winds and the cold weather and flocked to the Auckland War Memorial Museum grounds from 5 p.m. More than 1200 Kiwi-Indians including children, seniors, students and community leaders attended.

The event began with the Indian national anthem with four Indian students from the University of Auckland waving the flags in the background. National List MP Kanwaljit Bakshi and Labour Party MP Phil Twyford attended the event.

The cultural performances lined up added an extra flavour to the celebrations with the tricolour-bathed museum building providing an alluring backdrop.

A medley of dance performances by students of the University of Auckland Indian Society, gidda performance by Golden Girls group of Woman Care Trust, and bhangra by Virasat Girls regaled the audience.

The live singing performance by Rahul Vyas and Darshit wooed the audience to joined the duo singing ‘Vande Mataram’ by AR Rahman and ‘Maula’ from the film Chak De India.

This was the first time a building of historic importance was lit in the Indian tricolour on the occasion of Indian Independence Day.

After the cultural performance, the DJ from Humm FM played Bollywood party hits which opened the dance floor for the visitors. Besides dancing and cheering at the performances, people also enjoyed the snacks and beverages at the event.

Another big event celebrating India’s Independence ‘India@70: Fusion Rock Concert & Dance’ has been organised at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Eden Terrace on Sunday, August 20. The highly anticipated event for the Indian community will begin at 3 p.m. after which cultural events will follow. Delicacies of India will be available for visitors.