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Celebration of 72nd Independence Day of India (15.08.2018)

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The 72nd Independence Day of India was celebrated at 08.30 am on Wednesday, 15 August 2018 at the Chancery. Members of the Indian Community joined in celebrating the occasion with patriotic fervour. Ambassador of India to Portugal H.E. Smt. K. Nandini Singla unfurled the Indian National Flag and read out the address of the President of India to the Nation.

To mark the culmination of the year-long celebrations of the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence (India@70), the Embassy, in collaboration with the Municipality of Lisbon and the Parish of Belém, organised a “Festival of India” at the Vasco da Gama Gardens near the Jerónimos Monastery in Belém. The Festival was an all-day event open to the general public and visiting tourists. The formal inaugural ceremony started at 11.00 am and was attended by a specially invited audience, consisting of members of the Portuguese government, diplomatic corps, Indian diaspora associations, Portuguese businessmen, media representatives and other VIPs. This was the first-such Festival of Indian to be held in Portugal.

In her speech on the occasion, Ambassador highlighted intensified momentum in India-Portugal relations, with the follow-up to the two Prime Ministerial visits last year and implementing of more than 20 agreements and outcomes, covering political, economic cultural and people-to-people ties. (The complete speech can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/IndiaInPortugal/videos/541775726277711/.) Her speech was followed by a number of Indian cultural performances (classical Indian dances, Bollywood, yoga demonstration and music).

The Festival of India offered a range of activities and attractions such as diverse Indian Cuisine (Mumbai street food, South Indian, Goan and Punjabi); a variety of Indian Classical Dances and Music, folk dances such as Bhangra; Ayurvedic Massage; Henna; Indian Spices and Traditional Sweets; Khadi, Silk Scarves, Stoles; Indian Incense, Handicrafts, Jewellery, Organic Cosmetics; Workshops on Bollywood Dance, Saree-draping, Rangoli art and Indian Calligraphy; and an interactive ‘Know India’ Quiz with prizes. All activities enjoyed enthusiastic participation not only from Portuguese citizens and members of Indian diaspora, but also from a significant number of foreign tourists who attended the Festival, given the fact that Belém is one of Portugal's foremost tourist hotspots. The estimated total attendance throughout the day was approximately 7,000 people. The Festival was finally concluded with a Yoga Session & Workshop, which lasted from 07.00 pm to 08.30 pm.

For more photos, please visit https://www.facebook.com/IndiaInPortugal/posts/1976899465695787?__tn__=-R

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