Thousands celebrate India’s day
Thousands of people gathered at the magnificent Civic Theatre on Sunday to take part in the colourful celebrations marking India’s 67th Independence Day.
The festivities were kicked off by the hoisting of the Indian flag by High Commissioner Shri A K Pandey in Aotea Square and was followed by a cultural parade and performances in the Civic.
The flag-raising ceremony takes place around the globe and is a nod to celebrations in Delhi where the Prime Minister hoists the national flag at the Red Fort before delivering a speech.
The occasion marks India’s independence from British rule on August 15, 1947.
The Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust was responsible for organising the Auckland celebrations that this year drew about 3000 people, chairman Jeet Suchdev says.
The trust has organised the event for more than 15 years, but it is the first time it has been held at the Rococodesigned Civic Theatre.
Mr Suchdev says the ambient theatre with its Indian-inspired motifs was a great place to showcase a variety of Indian performances.
‘‘It was fantastic,’’ Mr Suchdev says. ‘‘The weather was so gorgeous and the crowd was like an ocean.
‘‘So many people were there to rejoice this great event.’’
The celebrations were attended by a number of dignitaries, including MPs Judith Collins, David Shearer and Winston Peters.
Visit central leader. co.nz and click Latest Edition to sample some of the cultural performances from the day.
In the red: Burnima Mody of the Gujrati Samaj group gets into the swing of things.
Jamming: Basant Madhur, Prashant Kumar and Professor S.D. Madhur share their musical talents with the massive crowd.
Lively line: Dancers on stage at the 67th India Independence Day celebrations of Cultural Performances at the Civic Theatre.
Cultural affair: Anasuya Dasi is one of dozens of performers who graced the stage in regional costumes.
Speeches: Leader of the NZ First Party Winston Peters was one of several dignitaries who attended the event.