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Bonn group commemorates Indian independence: Collection for flood victims at independence celebration

Bonn group commemorates Indian independence : Collection for flood victims at independence celebration

The Lord Mayor spoke of tolerance between cultures at the German-Indian Association’s celebration. The Indian street food festival will also be used to help victims.

The Indian Association Bonn celebrated India’s 72nd Independence Day on Saturday with a cultural programme in the Sankt Georg clubhouse. The programme was planned to take place outside but wind and rain intervened. “As soon as we were inside, we realised that not everyone would fit in,” explained Ranjit Singh Wadhawa, general secretary of Bonn’s German-Indian Association. Over 130 people had come together to celebrate India gaining independence from the British Empire 71 years ago on 15 August 1947.

Bonn’s Lord Mayor, Ashok Sridharan, whose father comes from south India, addressed the assembled German-Indian Association in his opening speech: the significance of Independence Day was an important sign of open-mindedness and tolerance between different cultures and religions.

He and the oldest person at the event raised the Indian flag. “This Indian tradition is borne out of respect for age,” explained Singh Wadhawa. This year, it fell to the general secretary’s father, Iqbal Singh Wadhawa. The 86-year-old personally witnessed Independence Day in India. “Sometimes he talks about it, but he can’t do that every year,” Singh Wadhawa stressed. This year the catastrophe in south India overshadowed the festival. 324 people have died in the floods in Kerala this month.

Indian Street Food Festival in Bonn

More than 223,000 people have had to leave their homes, explained Singh Wadhawa. It is the worst flood in the last hundred years. “Together with the Andheri-Hilfe, we were able to collect 832 Euros for the victims,” said Singh Wadhawa.

On Sunday 23 September, the German-Indian Association is holding an Indian Street Food Festival in front of the Old Town Hall in Bonn to collect further donations for those affected by the flood disaster. At the event “An evening in Rajasthan” at the Brückenforum in Beuel on Wednesday 3 October, two Euros from each entrance ticket will go to the people of Kerala. The eight person dance and music group “Khatu Sapera” from Rajasthan will appear there on 3 October to mark 65 years of German-Indian relations and German Reunification Day.

(Original text: Elena Kuss. Translation: kc)