Chak De Andrea!

Follow the exciting and not so exciting adventures of Andrea in Mumbai...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bombay is… patriotic.

15th August was Independence Day, the day that the whole of India celebrates the British finally leaving in 1947. This year was the 60th Anniversary of Independence and everywhere people were celebrating.

There were flags and badges for sale, decorations up and people were dressed in their best. I have no idea about any official programs but my program was set. I was going to attend a flag raising ceremony at one of the Mobile Crèches centers. I had been seeing the children practice for Independence Day at every centre I had been to so far, so there was no way I was going to miss out.

I chose to go to the Godrej Construction site at Mahalaxmi for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s one of the easiest to get to from my house, and secondly because it was the first centre that I had ever visited. I arrived by 9am to find most children already there and dressed in their best clothes. Some of the little girls in saris with jasmine in their hair, and there were boys in kurta pajama or jeans.

It took awhile for everybody to arrive and get settled, including some of the children’s parents.

Following that, everybody stood to attention and saluted while the flag was unfurled and the children sung patriotic songs, did a dance, and there was a short speech about the meaning of Independence Day. It really was a beautiful event to see them all so excited and proud, and I got a little bit emotional while they were singing the national anthem.

The whole thing was over by ten thirty and I headed home to find that my room mates were only just getting up. I decided that since I had a day off work I might as well go for an adventure, and so, very unpatriotically, I headed for a mall.

I know what you’re all thinking, but honestly I was dying to see what an Indian mall was like… and it was hot… and there was a Crosswords book store there!! So I spent a couple of hours there and then came home and collapsed. Make sure you check my flickr account for my Independence Day photos, which should be uploaded soon!


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