Astana (Kazakhstan), jan.26 (ANI): The 61st Republic Day of India was celebrated with fervour and enthusiasm in Kazakhstan capital Astana on Tuesday.
The programme commenced with the hoisting of the national flag by Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Ashok Sajjanhar at the embassy residence.
Notwithstanding the fact that the temperature was ranging around -31:C, the ceremony was attended by a large cross-section of people including members of the Indian community, friends and supporters of India as well as officials of the Indian Embassy. The flag hoisting was followed by the National Anthem sung by all the people gathered for the ceremony and a few patriotic songs rendered by the ladies of the Embassy.
This was followed by a brief address by Ambassador Sajjanhar in the living room of the residence.
Ambassador Sajjanhar recounted the rapid strides that relations between India and Kazakhstan have taken over the last one year.
The highlight was the visit of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to India as the chief guest for the country's 60th Republic Day celebrations in January 2009.
Ambassador Sajjanhar said this decision reflected the warmth and respect that the people and leadership of India have for President Nazarbayev as well as for the people of Kazakhstan.
It was decided during the visit to upgrade the level of bilateral relations to strategic partnership, he said, adding that the embassy also organised several events over this period to further deepen and diversify engagement between the two countries.
Ambassador Sajjanhar's address was followed by the recorded address of the President of India to the nation delivered on the eve of the Republic Day. This was followed by refreshments and traditional Indian snacks.
Celebration of the Republic Day inspite of the severity of the weather conditions helped the members of the Indian community to meet, interact and socialise with each other in a happy and joyous atmosphere.(ANI)