US celebrates Indian Republic Day inspite of blizzard

Washington, Jan 27: Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh led India's 67th Republic Day celebrations across the country, unfurling the tricolour at the Indian Embassy in the American capital.

A large number of eminent Indian Americans gathered at the embassy here on Tuesday even as the city and its surrounding areas are yet to recover from a major blizzard over the weekend that dumped 20-30 inches of snow.

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Republic Day celebrated across US

Before unfurling the national flag, Singh paid floral tributes to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the embassy. He also addressed the Indian American community and read out the speech of President Pranab Mukherjee delivered on the eve of Republic Day.

Similar Republic Day celebrations were held at other Indian diplomatic missions in New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and San Francisco and the Permanent Mission of India to the UN. The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) hosted the Republic Day celebrations over the weekend in Chicago on January 24.

"While different organisations representing Indian-Americans may separately celebrate different events under their respective banners, all of them should come forward to join hands to have one single united celebration for two events of great national importance - Independence Day and Republic Day," said Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago, who was the chief guest.

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Indian Americans in Greater Washington Area plan to celebrate the Republic Day on January 30, a release said. Indian Americans also observed Republic Day with great fanfare and patriotic fervour in Houston yesterday where the Consulate General of India observed the occasion with a flag hoisting ceremony at the home of Consul General Parvatheneni Harish who unfurled the tricolour.

The Consul General and his wife welcomed Indian-Americans, and friends of India to their home for a flag-hoisting ceremony. Despite a chilly morning and a working day a large number of guests attended the republic day.

"It is indeed a great honour to be raising the Indian flag," said Harish while saluting the flag in Houston. The Indian national anthem was rendered by young students, who were later joined by everyone in the gathering. Harish read out the President's speech on the occasion and extended his greetings, "On this joyous occasion of Republic Day, my best wishes to all for peace, progress and prosperity".


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