Indian expatriates share their excitement on the occasion of their country’s Republic Day on Friday.
Jayaprakash Chaurasya, 31, a technician from Uttar Pradesh: He said he was delighted to attend the official ceremony at the embassy for the first time in his six years in Abu Dhabi.
“I am feeling proud. I noticed what the ambassador had said about the prime minister’s [Narendra Modi’s] upcoming UAE visit. I think the improved relations will benefit everyone,” Chaurasya said.
Mohammad Riajaul, 48, a technician from West Bengal: “The event aroused nostalgic memories about the flag-hoisting ceremony at the school during [my] childhood. It was also a colourful event like this.”
Jithendra Sharma, 49, a worker from Bihar: “I am happy to celebrate this occasion in the UAE, the land that gave me and my family a prosperous life.”
Ryan Francis, 11, from Kerala: He said he wants to contribute towards a clean India. “I will do my bit to achieve that goal.” Venkatesh Rapelli, a driver in Sharjah: He and his large group of friends from Telangana living in different emirates come to The Indian High School Dubai for taking part in the celebrations every year. “Here, we feel like being in Delhi today. This is where we can see Indians from all the places and we are very proud to salute our country together,” he said.
Sangeeta Mukherjee, a medical professional: “It was very nice to see all the programmes, the one about the girl child particularly, especially because we have a lot of issues related to women’s safety and empowerment. I’m proud that my daughter is part of the school.”
Veena Bhatia, living in Dubai since 1972: She said events like this make Indians feel very patriotic and united. “This is how we can pass on those feelings to the young generations also.”