Saturday, January 29, 2011

Armenia celebrates Republic Day of India with great zeal!!

Each year, 26th January is a day on which every Indian heart fills up with patriotic fervor and immense love for motherland. There are many significant memories as it was this day when the Indian Tricolor was first unfurled in January 1930 at Lahore, by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru and the declaration of an independent Indian National Congress was made.

26th January, 1950 was the day when the Indian republic and its constitution came into force. It was this day in history in 1965 when Hindi was declared as the official language of India.

 PIC 1: Republic Day Parade on 26th January
Republic Day is celebrated every year with much enthusiasm all over the country and to mark the importance of this occasion, a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi, from Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President's House), along the Rajpath, past India Gate and on to the historic Red Fort.
 Not only in India do Indians celebrate the Republic Day but also all over the world wherever they have embassies and communities. Here in Armenia the celebrations began early in the morning at the residence of ambassador of India to Armenia. The ceremony of flag hoisting took place in the cozy backyard garden. While H.E. Mr Achal K. Malhotra was hoisting the Indian Tri-Color showering with rose petals from inside the flag, the Armenian Students of Yerevan Humanitarian Institute studying Hindi were singing "Jana-Gana-Mana" the national anthem of India. After this  Mr Ambassador read the annual speech of the president of India Mrs Pratibha Devisingh Patil to the invited guests: Indians working and studying in Armenia as well as Armenians having good relationship and attachment to India. This was followed by impressive lines from famous patriotic poem by Ram Avatar Tyag read in Hindi by the students of YHI. What impressed me most was that all Indians being present were singing the anthem so wholeheartedly and were exclaiming proudly and solemnly "Jay Hind". 
PIC 2: Flag Hoisting by Ambassador to Armenia H.E. Mr. Achal Kumar Malhotra
But the celebrations didn't end at this. There was a big reception in the evening at Ani Plaza Hotel. Many politicians and artists, businessman and friends of India were invited.
At one corner of the hall the guests could get introduced to photo presentation desk "India-Armenia throughout the eyes of  the lense". A special edition of NAMASTE (Indian monthly magazine being published in Armenia) was prepared on the occasion of 62nd anniversary of the Republic of India. In this edition, Armenians can find Indian tales and stories translated into Armenian.

The chief guest of the evening was the prime minister of Armenia, Mr Tigran Sargsyan. The ceremony began with national anthems of India and Armenia. Then H.E. Mr Achal K. Malhotra had a speech marking the importance of the day. “Currently, India is a democratic state, which takes care of equal development and prosperity of its society,” the Ambassador said. Speaking about the relationship between the India and Armenia also noted for his part that the two countries’ leaders intend to expand the trade and economic ties. He added that India’s economy managed to record 9% growth under conditions of the global crisis.
PIC 3: Prime minister of Armenia Mr Tigran Sargsyan
& H.E. Mr Achal K. Malhotra with his wife
Mr. Tigran Sargsyan congratulated the people of India on behalf of the Armenian government and himself, wishing peace, prosperity and new achievements in all fields. Being a cradle of ancient civilizations India has made spiritual and intellectual contribution to world’s cultural heritage and is contributing to modern processes, he stressed. Mr. Sargsyan said that modern India continues making an important contribution to the cultural development of the world. He added that preservation and development of good traditions between the two peoples is among duties of the Armenian and Indian governments.

The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the Indian government for the programs implemented in Armenia.
“Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s expected visit to Delhi will serve as a new impetus for boosting the bilateral relations,” said Sargsyan.
After official part Mrs Anita Verma, a lecturer of Hindi in Armenia was invited to stage to introduce the cultural part of the reception. As every ceremony or event in India the cultural part also started with Vandana performed by 3 pretty Indian Student of Yerevan State Medical University. Vandana was followed by another magnificent performance: Dance Play for Hanuman Chalisa by Andranik Asatryan, an artist and student of State Institute of Theater and Cinematography. The performances were completed by a Sari show and wedding ceremony. Here we witnessed the perfect combination of Armenian beauty in Indian national dresses. These were students of Yerevan State Linguistic University after V. Bryusov studying Hindi. 

 PIC 4: Dance Play for HANUMAN-CHALISA performed by Andranik

PIC 5: Sari Show by Students of Yerevan State Linguistic University

PIC 6: Indian Wedding Ceremony Show
The event was completed by reception of Indian cuisine: diverse and incredible as India it is.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

India marks Republic Day

Interview given by the Ambassador of India to Armenia  H.E. Achal Kumar Malhotra to A1+

On January 26, 1950, the Indian constitution was put into force proclaiming India as a republic country.
Every year, on January 26, Indians in Armenia mark the Republic Day of India. Today they gathered outside the residence of Indian Ambassador to Armenia Achal Kumar Malhotra. Ambassador Malhotra read out the message of the Indian President.
Festive events will continue throughout the day.
Talking to A1+, Ambassador Malhotra said that democracy has overcome all challenges and hardships in India.
Mr. Ambassador, how will you assess Armenian-Indian relations?
I would say they are perfect. Armenia and India hold unanimous opinion on issues of bilateral interest. We uphold the tradition of reciprocal visits. Armenian Foreign Minister visited India in November 2010 and discussed a wide range of issues with his Indian counterpart, starting form regional to international issues.
In 2010, we commenced Yerevan-Delhi flights, which further contributed to tourism. With the Armenian Ministry of Economy, we organized a seminar on tourism that enabled tour operators of the two countries to reach agreement on numerous issues. As result, the number of Armenian tourists has increased in India over the last two months. The countries also continue implementing educational programs. In 2010, 35 Armenians studied in India in the framework of Technical and Economic Cooperation program.
Which are the priorities of the two countries in the spheres of economy and culture?
 India has always expressed readiness to support Armenia in its endeavours. India is a reliable partner. India supports developing countries without preconditions. Priorities are determined by the receiving party. Armenia and India implemented two programs in 2010. We aim to implement another two programs in 2011. India will technically assist Armenia in the preparation for the 2011 census. To this effect, a group of specialists of Armenian National Statistical Service will leave for India in February. Restrictions on entry visa are likely to be lifted in the nearest future. The issue is under consideration. I hope that it will soon find a positive solution and contribute to the flow of Indian tourists to Armenia.
 The countries have established a good tradition of organizing exhibition-sale of Indian goods in Armenia. However, for some unknown reasons, the exhibition set for autumn, 2010, was canceled.  Does it mean that the countries encounter problems in economic cooperation?
 Besides intergovernmental cooperation, the countries also cooperate with the private sector. The exhibition-sale is initiated by private entrepreneurs. Last time the exhibition was held in May 2010.  It is not easy to organize a similar exhibition every six months. I think that another exhibition will be organized in Armenia this year. I am also hopeful that Armenian-Indian collaboration will continue intensively in different spheres.
Achal Kumar Malhotra wished the Armenian people peace, prosperity and happiness in the new decade.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Hope!!!

Dear IAF Members,

Hope you all are all embraced for the new year.

As the new year blossoms, may the journey of your life be fragrant with new opportunities, your days be bright with new hopes and your heart be happy with love! May this New Year 2011 bring newly found prosperity, love, happiness and delight in your life.

Wish you all a very happy new year! May this year prove to be the solidarity year of India & Armenia!

Warm regards

The IAF Team