64th Republic Day of India Celebrated in Santiago
Community, culture and food abounded for everyone this 64th Republic Day at the Indian Embassy in Santiago.
LAS CONDES — The 64th Republic Day celebration of India brought together an ensemble of Indians and Chileans linked together in cultural and trade exchanges at the Indian Embassy in Santiago. Dressed in their traditional best, adults and children alike enjoyed the opportunity to come together and partake in the festivities.
The occasion marked the 64th anniversary of the adoption of the Indian Constitution. It’s a reminder to the people that although the country attained independence on August 15, 1947, it was only on January 26, 1950 that it adopted its own constitution, obtaining the right to elect its own head of state.
The Indian Ambassador to Chile, Mr. Pradeep Kapur, began the celebrations with the hoisting of the Indian flag, followed by a speech that included key highlights of the one delivered to the entire country from New Delhi by the Indian President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee.
Following the ambassador’s speech, young children of the community put up a short cultural program with patriotic songs and dances. The celebrations ended with typical Indian sweets, snacks and a cup of traditional Indian ‘chai’ (tea).
The celebration was well attended by representatives of the Indian Association Networks in Santiago and Punta Arenas, the head of the Kundalini Sikh community, Guru Bachan Singh Khalsa, as well as a number of Indian participants of the StartUp Chile program. The program created by the Chilean government provides full support to aspiring entrepreneurs and has witnessed a continuous increase in Indian participants year after year.
As a recent expat from India in Santiago, the celebration on Republic Day was an eye-opener to all the cultural, environmental and economic exchanges and potential benefits that exist between both India and Chile. The ambassador used this opportunity to highlight the key developments between the two countries. The preferential trade agreement between the two countries extends now to nearly 1,200 items from an earlier list of only 197. India was also Chile’s first dialogue partner at the CELAC (Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños) meetings, given both countries share an affinity for the causes of developing nations.
Mr. Kapur also touched on some of the many local activities that the Embassy has undertaken in Chile. Frequent exchanges between the countries in the arts, culture and social development fields continue. Recently, a group of five Chilean women were sent to Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India, where they learned the benefits of using solar electrification and came back to Chile to implement them. The embassy was also instrumental in getting Tonmoy Shome, a yoga master, to set up ‘train the trainers’ programs in Chile to help propagate this form of well-being.
In an interview with I Love Chile a few days before Republic Day, the Ambassador elaborated on the bilateral ties between India and Chile. Industrial stalwarts in India have long realized the potential for growth in Latin America. However, given the higher levels of transparency and strong relations with Chile, they have recently started setting up regional offices and headquarters in Santiago.
Top IT companies such as Oracle, Polaris and Wipro, energy companies such as Suzlon and Havell Sylvania, mining groups like Jindal Steel and consumer product giants such as Godrej have flocked here to set up their offices, underlining the growing importance of Chile in Indian trade and foreign growth.
Since celebrations like these are open to everyone, I would encourage all those interested in learning more about the community to partake and attend. The embassy regularly updates its Facebook page for all such upcoming festivities and activities.