Independence Day Celebrations

“My dear fellow-citizens, brothers, sisters and dear children”, Prime Miinister Manmohan Singh greeted me as soon as I came in at the door from my morning run. The live stream was running, and from the beautifully decorated Red Fort the leader of the nation addressed the people.

“I greet you all on this Independence Day”, he went on. In his 40 minute speech, he explained some history, bemoaned the victims of the floods in Uttarakhand and the submarine tragedy, said something about the economy, praised his legislation,  touched the tricky topics Pakistan and women in India, and then he cheered together with the rest of the nation: “Jai Hind, Jai Hind, Jai Hind”.

independence day decoration

By the way, only when I saw this decoration, I realised my bicycle nearly sports the colours of India’s national flag. Coincidence?

More and more people from the neighbourhood arrived to celebrate the nation on its 67th birthday. Many wore their best clothes, greeted each other gracefully with folded hands, had a flower plugged in the hair or the turban especially nicely done.

“By getting here we all are showing a sense of unity and togetherness”, the former army chief J.J. Singh addressed the Club members.  And he encouraged the attentive listeners, to work even closer together, for example in putting up dustbins and using them, also to encourage children to not throw away their candy paper but to put it in the pocket until a dustbin is there.

The audience didn’t seem to need a reminder, but Singh anyway talked about the “deep civilizational strength” in India: People are still, despite the western influence, eating their daal and sabzi instead of bread, wear their kurtas and saris instead of jeans and t-shirts, embrace their own music culture. Then the national flag was hoisted and the national anthem sung.

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