By Irfan Mohammed
Jeddah: The prolong battering of the COVID-19 has considerably hit social life of expatriates in abroad. While vaccination and receding in the virus cases has provided some respite to the people. After staying cooped up at home for over a year and half, The Indian expatriate community is coming out to join ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations in Saudi Arabia for leisurely stroll.
India Maha Utsav, a patriotic cultural event as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ held by Indian Consulate in Jeddah on Saturday night has thrilled the audience. The event has show cased rich cultural diversity of India where total of 190 artists – all are locally living here and most of them students barring Gujarati, Maharashtra.
The iconic song “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara” of Pandit Bhisen Joshi in 1988 evoked nostalgia among audience. The song considered a symbol of India’s diverse culture.
The high-octane Gujarati Garba and Maharashtra folk performances by men and women with their traditional attire for first time in Jeddah left audience spellbound. The Rajasthani Ghoomar song by a woman in traditional attire also mesmerized the audience.
It is noteworthy to mention that for first time that folk culture of states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan was displayed in such large scale in Jeddah and received warm response from the audience.
The magical performance of Mohiniyattam and Kathakali of Kerala by energetic troop that consists different age groups as young as 4 years old girl impressed the audience while Tamil Nadu’s folk song that depicts agronomy and water was received applause from audience. The sole performance of Punjabi song energized the young audience with clapping.
The Telangana Batukamma, a floral tribute and the traditional rites of Hyderabadi marriage without dowry theme also performed by a group of Telangana children during the event, followed by a Telugu son by Amjad Hussain.
Addressing the gathering, Indian Consul General Md. Shahid Alam said that Indian Consulate has reduced the audience keeping in mind of covid-19 protocol precautionary measures. He said that next events as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav can expect more audience if situation permits.
Praising the Indian community including students of IISJ, the top diplomat said that all together has displayed a vibrant rich diversity of the country.
Prior to commencement of the event, gathering paid tribute to late CDS General Bipin Rawat and veteran NRI late Rafiuddin S. Faulbhoy by observing silence.
The series of cultural events and digital initiatives to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Indian independence will run till August 15, 2022. Indian Diplomats urging the strong community to join the future celebrations and make it a ‘people’s festival’.
India@75 was officially flagged off by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year and Indian Diplomatic missions across the globe have been regularly celebrating various patriotic cultural progammes.