Saffron green and white were the colours of the day as India celebrated its 73rd independence day August 17 at the Milton Bible Church. The afternoon program was organized by the Canadian Indian Association. Performances included patriotic songs and danced representing all regions of India.

Ceremonies kicked off with a flag raising and national anthems from both India and Canada.  They were followed by speeches from elected officials including Milton Member of Parliament (MP) Lisa Raitt, and Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Parm Gill.  “We’re just trying to build a little, mini India here today.  Indian culture, dances, and songs from all over,” Volunteer Shikha Dhingra described.  “This adds onto our pride, and our sense of belonging,” she added.

Over 75 groups performed to a full ballroom full of attendees wearing outfits representing the diverse regions of India. The event included performers of all ages.  Saayna Halder led a group of her friends to the stage.  “We wanted to recognize India and celebrate its independence day,” she said of the performance.  The song celebrated the return of the Hindu God Ram after his 100th expedition.  It was important to the young women to honour their heritage.  “It’s important to show everyone our heritage, represent us to everyone so they learn about different cultures,” Shayra Charavorty said.

Rajesh Wari led a group of South Asian Moms of Milton.  They emphasized the importance of passing on the history to the next generation.  “It’s a reminder of our country,” Wari said. “My kids, they will remember in the future,” Shayla said.  The group performed in black camouflage and chose to dedicate their performance to the Indian Army.

India is known as the world’s largest democracy with a population of approximately 1.3 billion.

Canadian Indian Association (CIA) was started with an aim to bring together people from the Indian origin living in Canada so that we and our future generations can relate to the rich culture we come from and experience its glory. Canadian Indian Association strives to bring all Canadian-Indians together. Each members or participant of this great CIA’s event contributed their valuable time and talent to make this event a grand success.   For more information on the Canadian Indian Association please visit their website: http://www.canadianindianassociation.com/

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