Enthralling Republic Day celebrations in London

London: The Republic Day of India celebrations were organised recently by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence jointly with the Nehru Centre (ICCR, London), High Commission of India, and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Titled Sanskruti Darshayaami, the event included an awesome stage tableau showcasing a variety of dance forms belonging to different regions of India. The unique and rarely seen folk art forms of India have enthralled the audiences, including Mathuri dance of Telangana, Shondol dance of Ladakh, Gabar dance of Chhattisgarh, Nyishi of Arunachal Pradesh and Rabha of Assam. A total of 60 performers went on to the stage to dance and sing.

The program began with the national anthem, followed by a brief video roundup of celebrations in Delhi, video messages by Her Excellency High Commissioner of India Mrs. Gaitri Issar Kumar, President of ICCR Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Minister (Culture) and Director of the Nehru Centre Amish Tripathi were played. Tributes to the freedom fighters were paid through a presentation on Andaman and Cellular Jail by Sushil Rapatwar. Video message by Ranjit Savarkar, grandnephew of Veer Savarkar was also played. Best wishes by honorable Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Shri Pema Khandu were printed in the booklet “Gamanam” released on the occasion and disseminated to all.

Padma Shri awardee Bob Blackman MP and Baroness Verma, Chair for UN Women UK were Guests of Honour. While Bob spoke on trade & economy and hailed the diaspora for the contributions to public service and private industry as the living bridge between the UK and India, Baroness Verma reiterated how important it is to remember the sacrifices made by the ancestors for attaining Independence.

The fully packed hall of audiences enjoyed the rich cultural tapestry showcased on the stage. They included dances from Assam (Rabha), Arunachal Pradesh (Nyishi), Chhattisgarh (Gabar), Karnataka (Kamsale and Kolata), Kerala (Thiruvathira), Ladakh (Shondol), Odisha (Odissi), Rajasthan (Kalbelia), Telangana (Mathuri), Uttar Pradesh (Kajari) and West Bengal (Rabindra Nritya). Shiva- The Indian Youth Choir of Englandfittingly concluded the cultural program with shlokas and songs. Ravi Sharma of Lyca Media and Chinmayee hosted the show and Vote of Thanks was presented by Ragasudha Vinjamuri, who has also conceptualised the program.

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