Royalty Makes Its Way to the Indian Day Parade on Madison Avenue

20 Aug
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Representation of Shivaji Maharaj

     The excitement was building up around 38th St. and Madison Ave. this past Sunday in anticipation for the start of the 38th annual Indian Independence Day parade. Although the day was overcast, the marchers and dancers were sizzling hot getting ready to show off with great pride their community and culture. Billed as the largest Indian independence parade outside of India, this years theme of “the world is one family” was evident in many of the groups present in showing unity with the US. Undoubtedly the tech boom in the US has drawn hundreds of thousands of Indians from their homeland to make the NYC their new home.  Many of those transplants made their way along the parade route on Madison Ave. from 39th to 25th streets to cheer on their compatriots.

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Anupam Kher Gets the Parade Started

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Master Blaster Sir Vivian Richards Greets the Crowd

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Jallosh Gets the Crowd Worked Up

     As usual, the mounted police signaled the start of the parade. It is with great fanfare that the parade organizers, the Federation of India Association, invite celebrities from India as Grand Marshalls. This year was no exception with heavy hitters like the legendary film actor  Anupam Kher,  and the Master Blaster of cricket, Sir Vivian Richards gathering the most attention. Parade organizers invite groups from both the tri-state area and from India to participate in an amazing display of color and tradition. After all the VIPs and dignitaries  made their way to the reviewing stand on 27th St., the fun started with perennial favorite Swamibara Pipe Band playing an upbeat tune for the crowd. Air India displayed their famous record breaking all female pilots that circumnavigated the globe last year. The familiar drumbeat and high energy of Jallosh  always gives the crowd something to cheer about. A combination of new and traditional music style was seen in the Hotstar float. They were really good.

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Raising Awareness

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Celebrating Indian Independence

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Traditional dancers

     This years theme of “the world is one family” was displayed by various groups all throughout the parade. India is a deeply spiritual country with many religions and spiritual groups displaying banners helping to raise consciousness. It was great to see Yogi Masters and Buddhist monks share a moment of solidarity. My favorite sign was Peace is the One True Religion. Amen to that. Saving the best for last was a group invited to perform traditional dances from Mumbai. The Chhatrapati Foundation brought a dancing group and a representation of Shivaji Maharaj, founder of Hindavi Swarajya, self-rule, a government of the people. Many of the principles used then helped form the foundation of US democracy. All in all, it was a great parade with lots of colorful costumes and passing on of tradition to the next generation.

 

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Welcome to India my Friends

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