Hundreds of Indians at abroad marked the country’s 71st Independence Day

Vastavam web: Soaked in patriotism, hundreds of Indians abroad today marked the country’s 71st Independence Day with the tricolour fluttering high and the national anthem reverberating at Indian missions across the world.Indians in countries like China, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Egypt, Israel and South Africa celebrated the day with hoisting of the national flag and singing of patriotic songs.

A large number of Indian expats attended the Independence Day celebrations at the embassy in Beijing with Indian envoy Vijay Gokhale reading the address of President Ram Nath Kovind. He met the Indian diaspora at a reception held in the embassy.In Guangzhou, Indian Consul General Y K Sailas Thangal hoisted the tricolour. Over 150 Indian professionals and businessmen settled in the southern Chinese city attended the reception held on the occasion at the Consulate.

In Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today extended his wishes by calling it a day that commemorates “the achievement of sovereignty and freedom for the world’s largest democracy” as the Indian diaspora celebrated the special occasion by attending flag hoisting ceremonies held at Indian High Commission and consulates across the country.”The Indian community in Australia is an important part of our strong and enduring ties, helping to build even closer bonds between our nations,’ he said adding that two-way trade exceeded 20 billion dollars in 2016, and shows great potential for further growth,” he said.

“With these thoughts in mind, I hope the Indian community in Australia enjoys wonderful Independence Day celebrations, and finds their sense of affection and esteem for India renewed,” he said.Canberra based Indian High commission as well as consulates in Melbourne, Sydney and other cities also held flag hoisting ceremonies attended by a several members of Indian communities.A large gathering of about 600 people, including the growing Indian community in Tokyo, celebrated the day.

Indian Ambassador to Japan Sujan R Chinoy unfurled the national flag, which was followed by the singing of the National Anthem.The envoy also addressed the gathering and read out the Kovind’s address. Students of Indian International School in Japan (IISJ), Tokyo and Global Indian International School (GIIS) sang patriotic songs. The programme was followed by refreshments.Three local newspapers, Japan Times, Japan News and Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun carried the message of Ambassador Chinoy on the occasion along with congratulatory messages from Japanese dignitaries.Students from Indian schools in Singapore sang patriotic songs and performed cultural dances at the High Commission.

In the UK, hundreds of members of the Indian diaspora took part in the first-ever Freedom Run to mark the Independence Day with the one-mile journey beginning from the historic Parliament Square here.In Egypt, India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya hoisted the country’s flag to mark day at the India House in Zamalek.The celebration was attended by members of Indian community in Egypt as well some Egyptian friends of India and students of language the The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC).Ambassador Pavan Kapoor hoisted the national flag with some of the enthusiastic participants from the Indian Jewish community raising slogans of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.

Kapoor thanked the Indian community for joining the celebrations and also expressed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s deep appreciation for their participation in large numbers in the July 5th event last month when the Indian Premier addressed them during his three day visit to Israel.Noah Massil, a founder member and former President of Central Organisation of Indian Jews in Israel (COIJI), told that Modi’s visit has “instilled a fresh sense of pride” among the Indian Jewish community.”Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has won the hearts of all of us by announcing that Indian Jews who have done mandatory army service only are entitled to OCI and also his initiative to set up an Indian cultural centre in Israel”, he added.

Women members of the Indian mission staff sang Vande Matram during the event.India’s Independence Day was celebrated across South Africa with gatherings in all major cities.Kovind pitched for a partnership between citizens and the government to create a new India by 2022 that is a “compassionate society” and includes the “humanist component integral to the nation’s DNA”.

The special relationship between South Africa and India was highlighted by an unprecedented lighting up of several Gandhian heritage sites in the colours of the Indian flag on the eve of the Independence Day.”In compliance with a request from the Indian government, we approached the owners of some historic sites to do this and they welcomed it enthusiastically,” Consul General in Johannesburg Dr K J Srinivasa told.Consul General in Durban Dr Shashank Vikram said the government authorities in Pietermaritzburg were just as excited about the project.

Constitutional Hill, home to the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s highest judiciary body, was built on the site of the Old Fort prison where Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned during his tenure in Johanensburg at the turn of the last century.In the UAE, hundreds of Indian expats gathered at their country’s missions to celebrate, Gulf News reported.