January 26 marked India’s 71st republic day when the country’s constitution came into effect. In Milton members of Canadian Indian Association (CIA) of Halton Region gathered together to enjoy an afternoon of cultural performances from all regions of India.
The celebration started with both national anthems, and official speeches from dignitaries including the ConsulGeneral of India Apoovra Srivastava. “The way you sang both national anthems is remarkable that you have loyalty to both countries in a very beautiful way,” she told the crowd. India had already started Republic Day with a parade in the capital New Delhi.
The celebrations brought Retired Rear Admiral Rajendra Singh from Mississauga. Singh served three Indian Presidents as the Naval Aide de Camp. His post meant he was able to see the march-pasts, and tableaux up close. The sense of unity has stuck with him. “We may speak different languages, we may eat different food. We may wear different clothes. But on that day we are all as one,” he said.

Sanjay and Arnika Rangnekar performed two songs. The first told a story of leaving the homeland for somewhere different. All the memories we have of that place,” Sanjay explained. The second song told a story of making a mark in life. “Indians wherever they go always put their best foot forward. They always conquer whatever they need to,” he explained. The best part is we are not stopped from celebrating. That’s something I love,” Arnika said.
The couple is a part of Arts Milton and feel that art is a part of building understanding. “There are no boundaries left anymore. It’s no longer I’m from this part of the world, you’re from that part of the world. Everyone becomes one force together.” Sanjay explained.
Attendees were treated to original dance performances from South Asian Milton Moms. “It’s done the same back home as it is here. Here you talk about colour and shape, it is literally the same thing,” Arnika said. The performances ended with kids’ fashion show. For more information visit their website at: www. canadianindianassociation.com
Congratulations to Jagmohan Mainra, CIA President as well as the Directors for the most successful India’s Republic Day Celebration in Milton, the biggest turnout so far showing the unity and diversity amongst all Indians in Halton Region. Jay Hind!


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