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Celebration of Independence Day and Giddha Dance Performance at Indian Battalion, UNIFIL

Aug 16, 2022

The Embassy of India Beirut and the Indian Battalion at UN Peacekeeping Mission in Lebanon, UNIFIL, organized a grand celebration of 76th Independence of India at the Indian Battalion HQ in South Lebanon on 15 August 2022.

2.    The event was attended by Force Commander of UNIFIL Brig. General Aroldo Lázaro Sáenz of Spain, Sector East Commander of UNIFIL, Ambassadors of Kazakhstan & Germany, other diplomats, mayors of various municipalities in the region, senior representatives of the Lebanese Armed Forces, representatives of other Battalions and other Lebanese friends. This was also the first time UNIFIL Force Commander was visiting the Indian Battalion Headquarter.

3.    Ambassador in his speech spoke at length about the importance of these celebrations, stating, “This year is a special year, a landmark in the journey of our Nation as we complete 75 years of our Independence and our sovereignty. To mark this special occasion, we have been celebrating under a theme, what we call as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav since last year. This is also an occasion to remember all those who gave their lives for the freedom of our Nation and to make a resolve for a better future for our Country by our visions, actions and resolves”.  Ambassador also expressed his belief that India-Lebanon relation are on a positive trajectory and stated, “We are working closely with the Lebanese side in broadening and deepening our engagement on cultural, business and other facets of our bilateral relations”. Ambassador mentioned that the ideals of peace, non-violence and pursuit of truth are deeply engrained in Indian ethos. He mentioned about teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and about Indian belief in Vasudhav Kutumbkam, which means the World is one family.  Recognizing the great work the Indian contingent is playing in UNIFIL, Ambassador stressed that their work in the peacekeeping is in line with these ethos and beliefs in India. He complimented Commanding Officer of Indian Battalion Col, P N Sujay Kumar, Sena Medal, and his team for carrying out their Peacekeeping Mission with full professionalism and for flying the Indian flag high.  He further added, “Indian contingent at UNIFIL has been here since 1998 and is soon going to enter its Silver Jubilee year. They have not only been working with utmost professionalism but also have contributed to the social and economic development of South Lebanon. In return, they have also enjoyed utmost love and respect from all the people in South Lebanon.”

4.    General Sáenz in his speech conveyed his best wishes to India for the Independence Day. He praised the Indian Battalion for their professional work and connect with the local people.

5.    The event included scintillating dance performance by the Girls Team of University of Chandigarh, sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, ICCR. The team performed Giddha and other folk dances of Punjab and also presented sufi, folk and patriotic songs. Soldiers of the Indian Battalion also presented a dandiya dance performance and traditional regimental band. Head of Chancery in the Embassy, Shri Snadeep Grover also attended the celebrations.

6.    The Special Address of Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri V Muraleedharan, on the occasion of Iconic Week of Amrit Mahotsav being celebrated by the Indian Embassy, was also screened during the event.

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