Tomorrow is India’s Republic Day, so why not celebrate in style! India obtained Independence from Britain on August 15th, 1947, however January 26th marks the day that the constitution of India came into effect (in 1950). Republic Day is celebrated all over India. In New Delhi, there is an annual flag raising ceremony and military parade. After the military parade, an extravagant cultural parade, with many different states and people groups represented.
If you’re feeling particularly patriotic, or if you want to impress your Indian spouse or significant other, play the video below to listen to (…and sing along with?) the Indian National Anthem, Jana-gana-mana. At one time I could sing the whole thing, my husband wasn’t aware that I knew the song, so you should have seen the surprised look on his face…
As a side note for anyone who is interested, until January 26, 2002, it was illegal for the general public to fly India’s flag (except on a few selected national holidays). I was living in India when the amendment to the flag code was passed, and I recalled people being excited to know that they could now fly the flag out of patriotism at any time in the year. A friend also told me how lucky I was as an American to have always had the right to be able to fly our flag with pride. Sometimes I guess it is easy to take even little things for granted that we’ve always been able to do…
In light of today’s Inauguration of President Obama, I found this interesting article from the Times of India, India, US Relations: Love-hate Across Presidents
. You’ll find out who was the first US President to visit India, who supported India’s independence, and who helped strengthen the Indian-American friendship.
How will President Obama’s foreign policies affect US/India relationships? Only time will tell!
Amusing side note: Don’t you just love the time difference between the US and India? I mean we used to get a kick out of talking to my in-laws on New Year’s Eve (our time) while it was already the “next year” (India time). I just looked at the date on the article – since it was published in India I’m technically posting about it before it is even written. How’s that for a scoop? lol!
If you’re like me, you missed out on the PBS premier of “The Story of India.” The debut of this six part mini series was last night (January 5th). My husband’s aunt watched it & told me about it, she really enjoyed it. I was sad that I missed the first part – but it looks like it will air again throughout the week. Check your local listings to be sure, but the next part is scheduled to air on Monday, January 12th.
In this lavishly illustrated companion to his BBC TV series, Michael Wood weaves a spellbinding narrative out of the 10,000-year history of India. Home today to more than a fifth of the world’s population, the subcontinent gave birth to the oldest and most influential civilization on Earth, to four world religions, and to the world’s largest democracy. Now, as India bids to become a global giant, Michael sets out to trace the roots of India’s present in the incredible riches of her past.
From the Khyber Pass and the Himalayas to the tropical jungles of India’s Deep South, this original and striking survey of Indian history provides vivid portraits of India’s regions and cultures, and new insights into some of history’s greatest figures: the Buddha and Ashoka, Samudragupta and Akbar the Great, Nehru and Gandhi. It explores the ways in which Indian ideas and inventions have shaped the history of the world, and shows how some of ancient India’s conclusions about the nature of civilization have lost none of their relevance for our own times.
I think it is important for those of us in intercultural Indian relationships to learn about the history of India. I can’t speak for other countries, but in America, our world history is quite limited in school! I want my kids to learn about both their American and Indian heritage. I’m looking forward to watching all 6 parts in this series!