The unique model allowed community members to tune in safely.
By Ashima Sethi
On 15th August 2021, the Embassy of India marked the 75th Independence Day of India with a hybrid-style ceremony due to the prevailing pandemic situation and related restrictions. The Independence Day event was livestreamed on YouTube and via the embassy’s Facebook page and other social platforms. To begin the celebration, the National Flag was hoisted by Ambassador of India to Thailand, H.E. Suchitra Durai, which was then followed by the singing of the National Anthem.
The ambassador then addressed the Indian community and read out the President’s Address to the Nation, during which she discussed the government’s decision regarding global celebrations of this auspicious event, the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign. She also elaborated upon recent developments in bilateral relations, and programmes and initiatives launched by the Government of India to fight the pandemic and safeguard the lives and livelihoods of the people of India.
After the ambassador’s address, a video titled Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav: Celebrating 75 years of India’s Independence prepared by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India was streamed to viewers tuning in, before a video clip on the road to Indian independence produced by the Embassy of India and Rich India, a Bangkok-based production house, was shown. This video was the fourth instalment of a series produced to mark the 75th Independence Day celebrations.
Next was a virtual cultural programme that included patriotic songs that was curated in collaboration with an array of Indian organisations based in Thailand such as the Indian Association of Thailand, Indian Women’s Club, and the North East India Association, and several individuals from the country’s dynamic diaspora.
This was followed by an online photo exhibition centered on the theme of India’s struggle for freedom and featured an online exhibition of products from Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) at the Atmanirbhar Bharat Corner that was inaugurated by Ambassador Durai. It also featured an exhibition of Indian motorcycles from Royal Enfield and Bajaj, which highlighted the AtmaNirbharBharat Initiative.
Viewers were then treated to a steam of a cultural gala performance held by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in New Delhi that showcased various Indian dance forms and music focusing on the theme of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. Another form of art present at the celebrations was a video on the Global Digital Painting and Poster Making Competition held by the ICR that had the theme of ‘My Idea of India’ at its centre.
The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, Embassy of India, Bangkok organised an online programme that included a medley of patriotic songs by Indian singers based in Bangkok, as well as a Bharatanatyam dance recital based on Ramayana from Ms. Sumithra Subramaniam.
Beyond just the Embassy itself, various landmarks across Bangkok were lit up with the colours of the Indian Flag. This included the Thailand Cultural Centre and the iconic Baiyoke Sky Tower, a gesture that meant a lot to Thai-Indians across the country.
If you missed it, you can watch the full livestream here.