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Indians celebrate nation's 68th Independence Day

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Family and friends of the Indian community in Taiwan gathered at the Indians' Association of Taipei (IAT) premises in Tianmu to celebrate the 68th India Independence Day yesterday.

The celebration first began with a flag-hoisting ceremony — a traditional way to commemorate the date. This ceremony originated from Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister, who raised their national flag on Aug. 15, 1947 and officially declared India's independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

After the national flag was revealed, all the participants started to sing the Indian national anthem, showing their love and commitment to their motherland.

Ashok Khatri, president of the IAT, later expressed his appreciation for all the participants as well as his expectations toward India, saying that India, as the world's largest democratic country, has a prosperous future ahead and will create another golden age with the hard work of all Indians.

Khatri continued by introducing this year's guest speaker — Avnish Verma, the deputy director-general of India-Taipei Association (ITA).

“People used to take freedom for granted. However, Independence Day will always remind us about the efforts our ancestors made for our rights,” said Verma.

Verma said that Indians cherish freedom as one of their most important values since they know deeply that freedom does not come easily. It took years for independence fighters to reach this goal.

“Therefore, each one of us has the responsibility to promote this value to more people,” he said.

Following Verma's speech, Khatri S. J., a member of the IAT, also shared his ideas with all the members, saying that Taiwan is a blessed country where Indian families always try to educate their children about the value of freedom.

“It is crucial to teach the next generation to remember the motherland no matter where we are and to serve our country whenever we can,” he said.

At the end of the ceremony, Awantika Dubey, a classical Kathak dancer, sang a national song to praise their motherland.

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Friends and family of the Indian community hold the national flags of India and pose for a photo during India Independence Day at the Indians' Association of Taipei (IAT), yesterday. (Morgan Lin, The China Post)

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