'Unity in diversity': Republic Day fervour in Wellington
On the momentous occasion of India's 75th Republic Day, the High Commission of India in Wellington transformed into a canvas of patriotism and unity.
The morning air carried a unique energy as 350 attendees gathered to witness the ceremonial flag hoisting.
Under the vast New Zealand sky, the Indian tricolour was unfurled by the High Commissioner of India to New Zealand, Neeta Bhushan, marking not just a day on the calendar but a milestone in India's democratic journey. She also read Indian President Droupadi Murmu's message.
The High Commissioner emphasised the significance of the day and reflected on the progress and resilience of the Indian nation over the years.
“India is not just the largest democracy and the most populous country in the world, but one which stands on the foundation of India’s ancient civilisation and culture and resonates the spirit of unity in diversity.”
The crowd, a diverse mosaic of Indian expatriates and locals, stood in respectful unison as the national anthem resonated through the air. The 75th Republic Day celebration wasn't just a commemoration but a reflection on the shared values of democracy, freedom, and unity that bind nations across the globe.
Bhushan also said as the first woman high commissioner of India in New Zealand, issues of women’s empowerment are close to her heart. She said, “Government of India’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ initiative has given strength to millions of young girls to dream big and achieve their goals so as to be a major force in India’s growth story.”
Cultural performances added vibrancy to the festivities. A troupe from Rajasthan performed the traditional dance of Bhavai Mitri, creating an experience that transported everyone to the heart of India.
Recipients of New Zealand's 2024 New Year Honours, including Anuradha Ramkumar and Prem Singh, were facilitated by the high commissioner.
As the sun illuminated the High Commission, the 75th Republic Day in Wellington not only celebrated the sovereignty of India but also strengthened the cultural ties that bind the Kiwi-Indian community, creating lasting memories of a historic milestone in the heart of New Zealand.