Celebrations of the 67th Republic Day of India in Stockholm

Celebrations of the 67th Republic Day of India in Stockholm

CELEBRATIONS OF THE 67TH REPUBLIC DAY OF INDIA IN STOCKHOLM

The 67th Republic Day of India was celebrated on 25 January 2016 at Sheraton Hotelin Stockholm at a reception which was attended by more than250 guests. The Swedish Minister for Housing, Urban Development and IT, Mr. Mehmet Kaplan, was the Guest of Honour. Other important guests present included the Swedish Defence Minister, Mr.Peter Hultqvist; the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ms.Esabelle Dingizian; the State Secretary of Finance, Mr. Ulf Holms; the President of the India Friendship Group in the Parliament, AsaCoenrad; and the former Speaker, Mr.Per Westerberg.A large number ofsenior Government officials, representatives of the Swedish business community, diplomats and prominent members of the Indian Community also participated in the function.

To start with, the National Anthems of India and Sweden were played by the young students of a local music school, who were all wearing their national dress. The audience enthusiastically applauded the talented children.

In her welcome remarks, the Ambassador explained the importance of the Republic Day andsummarized the achievements made by India and the major developments in bilateral relations over the last year.She highlighted the first-ever visit by the President of India to Sweden, whichhad provided a new momentum and spoke about 'Make in India' and other flagship initiatives of the Government of India, which offered tremendous opportunities to the Swedish companies. She also told the audience about the highlights of the activities planned by the Embassy for 2016, including the 3rd Indian Film Festival, the 2nd 'Namaste Stockholm', business conference on the theme of "Making and Innovating in a New India", and 2nd International Day of Yoga.

In his keynote remarks, Sweden's Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Information Technology underscored the importance of signing the Memorandum of Understanding on Sustainable Urban Development during the Presidential visit last year. Herecalled his recent visit to India and the many fruitful interactions he had with Indian Ministers and senior officials.He said that Swedish Government would extend full cooperation in India's efforts towards sustainable urban development through various initiatives like Make in India, Smart Cities, Digital India, etc.

The audience was told about the decision of the Indian Government to celebrate a national Constitution Day every year on November 26. A short movie on the subject "India - The Spirit of Freedom" was shown.

The programme continued with a short presentation on Indian cuisine, followed by a sumptuous buffet lunch.

The celebration concluded with two special cultural performances - a mesmerizing medley of patriotic songs, performed by the highly talented PIO dancer Sunita Singh and her troupe, and a fascinating video-cum-live show "Colours of India", created by AnanyaDutta, a melodious artiste which presented the rich diversity of the country.

The National Flag will be unfurled at the India House tomorrow morning to complete the celebration of the 67th Republic Day.

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25 January 2016