Adelaide celebrates 71st Independence Day

Adelaide celebrates 71st Independence Day

By Chirag Trivedi

This year 15th August, 2017 was quite special for Indian diaspora in Adelaide, South Australia. As we all know 15th August is remembered and celebrated as the Independence Day for India. On this day 200 years long British rule came to an end and the rise of Democratic India began. It’s a national holiday in India and is celebrated across India and Globe by flag hoisting and various cultural programmes.

The local OFBJP team met Honourable Mayor Mr Lachlan Clyne at an event organised at Centennial Park cemetery. Hindu Council of Australia has worked with cemetery to develop cremation facilities of Hindu community. The cemetery has developed a special dedicated facility for cremation according to Hindu rituals.

During the discussion we discuss about few ideas about increasing the bonding between various cultures. I expressed my view as an Indian born Australia that we may start with Indian Independence Day instead of any cultural or religious festival. I personally consider Independence Day event are equally or more important compared to cultural or religious as each and every person from Indian origin will participate with full passion where as in cultural or religious events people follow their culture or religion. For example, New Year in different Indian state are celebrated with different name and time like Onnam, Ugadi or Diwali or Dipawali in rest of India. It is all about binding entire Indian community together by celebrating Indian Independence Day event.

This is just a beginning and the local team of OFBJP SA chapter is looking forward to organising such similar National event on a larger scale in partnership with Unley council and local/ federal Government.

In a short and sweet ceremony, the Mayor of Unley, Mr Lachlan Clyne raised the Indian Tricolour on the occasion of Indian Independence Day! This is probably the first time in Australia that a non-Indian organisation, a city Council had voluntarily celebrated our Independence Day with a flag hoisting ceremony.

Despite it being a wet rainy day, Mayor Clyne came out in all his mayoral regalia to welcome the Indian community members and said how happy he was to wish us all on this very special day and to celebrate it with us. It was still raining a little when we went out to the front of the building, on Unley Road (which is Unley’s main thorough fare) but that did not dampen the mayor’s and other staff’s enthusiasm in raising our flag. The Indians present on the occasion sang the National Anthem loudly, hearts filled with pride and joy. There were even some damp eyes… it is something very special to see the Tiranga go up and fly in an adopted country… we realise our feelings for our motherland are just as strong and special!

The Mayor then gave a short speech acknowledging the importance of the day and said he felt proud and honoured to be celebrating it with the Indian community members. He welcomed greater involvement of the Indian community in council activities and said the Council would always support Indians to settle in Unley and keep their culture and celebrations including festivals and national days.

Later, over tea and snacks, Mayor Clyne said that he was very happy to have started this tradition and could see how touched Indian community members were. He said that the flag raising had helped Unley Council to bond more strongly with its Australian-Indian community.

{The writer is a Chartered Accountant, Holistic Business Developers and Management Committee/Australia India Business Council (SA)}.

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