Muscat: Indian expats headed to their embassy on Sunday to mark their country’s 71st Republic Day, which began with a flag-hoisting ceremony at the embassy premises in Al Khuwair’s Diplomatic Quarter.
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“The embassy marked the 71st Republic Day in the presence of hundreds of members of the Indian community in Oman. The ambassador hoisted the national flag and read the message of the President of India.”
Many Indian nationals in Oman also marked Republic Day along with their countrymen. Sampat Kumar, who hails from the Indian state of Bihar, said, “Today is a very important day for Indians everywhere. I know there are some problems in India right now, but all countries have issues of their own. We must be thankful for what we have, and remember how hard people worked so that we could benefit today.
“My parents did not believe I was at the embassy, so I took videos of the flag-hoisting ceremony and shared it with them,” he added.
“I have been here for only a couple of years, so when my parents see these videos, they become very proud, as they realise that my patriotic spirit it still alive, although I have moved overseas.”
Mushtaq Ali, another Indian expat, who is from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, said, “I want to thank our Omani hosts for being so accommodative and allowing us to mark days such as this that are important to us. I’ve been a long-term resident in Oman, and one of the traditions I follow is to distribute sweets to my colleagues in the office on this day.
“My family and I also have a practice of speaking to each other on the morning of this day, and it’s these small measures that really remind us of our homeland and our family back home,” added Mushtaq.
“I really miss my family and when I go on leave a few months from now, I will definitely look forward to spending time with them.”
Indian schools in Oman also marked Republic Day, with one of them being Indian School Al Ghubra.
“A speech by Aditi Guru, a class 8 student highlighted the progress made by India after it entered the world stage as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic,” said a school official.
In her speech she also paid homage to the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour, and expressed her gratitude for the boundless benevolence shown to the Indian community by His Majesty which undoubtedly will be continued under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.
“Poems expressing the significance of the colours of the Indian flag and the hopes and aspirations of the youth of India were written and recited by three students of class 9 - Pallak Dhabalia, Aimie Isaac and Krishna Rajeev Nair,” he added. “A poem recitation in Hindi by Lakshmi Rajeev Menon of class 9, narrating the poignant tale of a brave woman warrior of India reminded the audience of the many who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
“A video presentation by Tabitha Thomas and Sarah Ann Joseph, highlighted the significance of the day by depicting the process by which the Constitution of India which is the world’s longest written constitution was formulated and finally enforced, 71 years ago,” he went on to say. “In a choral recitation by the students of classes 6, 7, and 8, a pledge was taken to work tirelessly for the good of the country and humanity at large.”