Many Happy Returns of the Day, India!

By Meenakshi  Kapoor, Greentree, PA  

Meenakshi Kapoor was born and raised in Saharanpur, UP. After working in Saharanpur and New Delhi, she reached these shores in 2000, reaching Pittsburgh in 2002. After working for several IT companies, now she has her own staffing and consulting business in Pittsburgh. Her hobbies are reading, cooking and listening to light and classical music.

County executive Dan Onorator addresses the gathering.

They say, you can take us out from India but you cannot take out India from us.  The proof for this, if one needs a proof at all, was India’s Independence Day celebration gala — some say, it is a mela — in Pittsburgh.  August 15th is a very important day in the lives of Indians in almost all parts of the world. The Indian American community, spread across the United States takes pride in celebrating India Day every year, as we too do here under the aegis of the Indian Nationality Room, University of Pittsburgh.

Children dance at the gathering.

This popular event attracted a large number of Indian-Americans with several hundred people gathering to witness and participate in showcasing the India’s rich and diversity. The atmosphere was charged with festivity and vibrancy of Indian polyglot culture with many people waving the tricolor, participating in the parade that started from Bigelow Boulevard and went across the Cathedral of Learning.

Kirti Gulati sang “Vande Mataram” in her melodious voice, followed by “Jai Ho.”  People passing by were fascinated by the Garba and Bhangra dances performed on the road during the procession by the young men and women draped in bright, colorful dresses.

Inside the Cathedral of Learning, flags of US and India were hoisted, followed by the national anthems of both countries respectively sung en masse. The ceremony saw Indian American youths dancing to peppy Punjabi and Bollywood music and classical and folk dances.

Various organizations, groups & dance academies – all based in Pittsburgh Metro area — presented dances of India performed by our youth in vibrant costumes. Some of the entrepreneurs of the area had set up trade tables to sell beautiful sarees, kurta, jewellery and other knick-knacks.  The food served was so delicious that many items got over in no time.

Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg from University of Pittsburgh, Dan Onorato, Chief Executive of Allegheny County and Councilman Bill Paduto from the City Council  addressed the gathering stressing the growing presence of Indian community in Pittsburgh and their diverse contributions to the Metro area in many ways.

As we celebrate India’s Independence and freedom, we remember the long course of history and the men and women who made it possible for India to celebrate this anniversary.

Long live India and her independence. Indians throughout the world salute the martyrs who made it possible for us to see this beautiful day.  Jai Hind !!

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