Indians in US celebrate a rainy Independence Day

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : Dressed in a sky blue sari, Indian ambassador to the US Meera Shankar unfurled the tricolour here in pouring rain as Indians across America celebrated the country’s 64th Independence Day.

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After the singing of the national anthem, the gathered Indian community, waving small Indian flags, moved inside the embassy residence where Shankar read President Pratibha Patil’s message to the nation.

Patriotic songs in seven Indian languages were sung followed by a feast of pan-Indian snacks. Similar functions were held at the Indian consulates in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Houston.

Indian-Americans held an India Day Parade in the heart of New York in Manhattan with Bollywood star Preity Zinta leading as grand master. Atlantic City also witnessed its first-ever India Day parade Saturday.

Participants included the Indo-American Senior Citizens Organization of Atlantic County, the Indian Business Association and the Mokshaa Dance Academy of Galloway Township.

Mayor Lorenzo Langford said that he hoped the parade would become an annual event, adding that “I hope it grows by leaps and bounds”.

The parade itself was just one part of the multi-day event, which included the decoration of New Jersey Transit’s ACES train from New York to Atlantic City, a concert by British singer Jay Sean and an India Festival.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])