Patriotic fervour today gripped Indians across the globe as they celebrated India's 68th Independence Day, unfurling the tricolour and organising cultural festivities to mark the occasion.
In a first, the Indian Embassy in China celebrated the Independence Day with full complement of the attaches of Army, Navy and Air Force, signifying improved relations between the two Asian giants. As Indian Ambassador to China Ashok Kantha hoisted the national flag in embassy premises here, Captain Sushant Dam of the Indian Navy and Group Captain Ashish Srivastava of the Air Force joined the Defence attache Colonel Iqbal Samyal to salute the tricolour.
It was for the first time that the air and naval attaches took charge in the Indian mission in China. So far, the Indian mission had only one defence attache. Kantha further read the Presidential address to a large gathering of Indian expats and their families who gathered here to celebrate followed by cultural presentations. In the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, Consul General K Nagaraj Naidu hoisted the flag at the Indian Consulate.
Over 400 Indian expats, mostly Indian businessmen attended the Independence Day celebrations.
While interacting with the businessmen, Naidu was surprised to hear that most are now focusing only raw materials from China while setting up their own manufacturing units in India. "This is very encouraging as we have seen the Indian businessmen importing finished goods from China, especially business hubs like Guangzhou and Shenzhen now setting up manufacturing units in India," Naidu told PTI.
In Singapore, around 600 Indians from all walks of life braved an early morning shower to join India's High Commissioner Vijay Thakur Singh for Independence Day celebrations. As Singh unfurled the tricolour, students from Indian schools sang the National Anthem and patriotic songs. The High Commissioner hosted a mid-morning reception for guests including Indian business community leaders in Singapore.
In Egypt, India's Ambassador Navdeep Suri hoisted the tricolour in India House premises. The event was attended by Indian diaspora as well as some Egyptian friends of India, who all sang the national anthem.
After hoisting the flag, Suri read out the Presidential address. Stressing on bilateral relations, Suri said India is one of the top ten trading partners of Egypt and there is an active economic cooperation between the two countries with bilateral trade of over USD 5.45 billion in 2012-13. He also underlined special attention being paid to promote cultural interactions between people of the two countries.
The Embassy is now preparing for the third edition of India by The Nile Festival, which was successfully held for the last two years, he said.