Indians in UAE and around the world join celebration of country's Independence Day

Event marks 75 years of independence

Indians living in the UAE took part in a worldwide online celebration to mark their nation’s 75th Independence Day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a campaign inviting Indians around the globe to upload a video of them singing the country’s national anthem, by visiting the website rashtraggan.in.

There were step-by-step details on how people could participate before Independence Day.

A compilation of the uploaded videos of the national anthem will be shown live on Sunday.

Pooja Arora, 45, a teacher in Dubai, uploaded a video of herself singing the national anthem.

“For my family and me, independence is celebrating to be a proud Indian,” she said.

“It means freedom to live, freedom to learn, freedom to be happy, to choose your way and, above all, I think the freedom to choose to be a responsible citizen and making your country proud is an integral part of it.”

She said India's Independence Day was traditionally an important event for her family and friends in the emirate.

“We dress up in our Indian attire and wear the colours of our national flag,” she said.

“Singing is my hobby so I also sing patriotic songs on this special day.”

This year’s event had a special significance, with many Indians cut off from their homeland because of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

“The commemorations had more significance this year,” she said.

“We Indians have found ways to celebrate together in the midst of a global pandemic.

“However, I am feeling very nostalgic as it's been two years since I have been to India and this span of time is the longest ever that I have not visited India since I came to Dubai.

“We celebrate this day every year with full vigour and excitement and it becomes special and different from other days because there’s a feeling of pride within our hearts and this feeling gives us tranquillity and comfort.”

On Thursday, Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai, posted a video of himself and colleagues singing the national anthem on Twitter to encourage other UAE residents to take part.

"The consulate organised several events to mark this special occasion with essay competitions, a quiz, a screening of a documentary as well as arts and craft exhibitions," a consulate representative said.

"These celebrations will extend through the India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai that will be showcasing the rich culture and heritage of India with participation from state governments, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and people from art, cinema, literature and fashion."

A flag-raising ceremony was also being held at the consulate on Sunday afternoon to mark the occasion.

"Independence Day is the occasion when we celebrate our freedom and sovereignty," the representative said.

"We remember the sacrifices and efforts of our great leaders who [fought for] freedom and ensured that India emerged as a plural, democratic and modern nation."

Updated: August 15th 2021, 1:16 PM
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