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Indians celebrate Republic Day in Gulf

Indians, who number over three million in the Gulf, on Monday celebrated the 55th Republic Day with flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural pageants.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2004 17:19 IST

Indians, who number over three million in the Gulf, on Monday celebrated the 55th Republic Day with flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural pageants in which a large number of schoolchildren participated.

In the United Arab Emirates, Indian Ambassador Sudhir Vyas hosted the tricolour at the embassy in Abu Dhabi, which was followed by the singing of the national anthem by students of Indian schools in Abu Dhabi. Vyas then read out the speech Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam had delivered to the nation on Sunday evening.

Vyas led the schoolchildren in taking a ten-point oath enunciated in Kalam's speech to remove corruption and to pursue excellence in education, among other things.

In Dubai, Consul-General Yash Sinha hosted the Indian flag in the presence of a large number of schoolchildren and prominent Indians. This was followed by a 90-minute cultural programme in the packed consulate auditorium. Children from various Indian schools performed traditional dances from Kerala, Gujarat, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.

Children from the Indian High School in Dubai presented a special item titled "Unity in Diversity" which depicted the rich and varied cultural tradition of India. This was followed by a reception attended by more than 2,000 Indians residing here.

Flag hoisting ceremonies were also held in the other emirates, where consuls from the Dubai mission unfurled the tricolour. The Dubai consulate had organised a special programme for Indian workers on Friday, a local holiday, in which over 4,000 blue-collar workers participated. This was the second time such a function was held.

In Oman, Indian Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad hoisted the tricolour and read out the President's address. A large gathering of Indians from all walks of life participated in the ceremony, held at the Indian School Wade Kaber, Muscat. Children from the five Indian schools in Muscat participated in a march past and sang patriotic songs.

Special supplements were brought out on the occasion by the two English dailies in Oman - Oman Daily Observer and Times of Oman - and Arabic daily Al Watan, carrying articles on various facets of India.

In Qatar, Ambassador Ranjan Mathai hoisted the national flag at the Indian Cultural Center. Children from the Indian schools sang the national anthem and patriotic songs. Members of the Indian community resident in Doha and other cities of Qatar were present in large numbers.

Al Rayah, a prominent Arabic daily of Qatar, English newspapers Gulf Times and Peninsula and Malayalam dailies Gulf Madhayamam and Varathamnam brought out special colour supplements to commemorate this occasion. In Kuwait, Indian Ambassador Swashpawan Singh unfurled the national flag, followed by the singing of the national anthem and patriotic songs by schoolchildren. The brass bands of the Bohra Community and the Indian School held the audience spellbound with their music.

A documentary 'Fulfilling the Vision' was telecast on the prime channel of Kuwait TV.

First Published: Jan 26, 2004 17:19 IST