TORONTO, Aug 10: Indians painted downtown Toronto in saffron, white and green – the colour of the Indian national flag – while staging the annual Independence Day parade on Saturday.
Over a dozen tastefully decorated rickshaws added colour to the parade which was led by Indian consul general Preeti Saran and other officials.
Reminiscent of the Indian Republican Day parade in New Delhi, participants and groups representing over two dozen Indian states and local cultural organizations performed various cultural items and ethnic dances.
“We are proud to be Indian – and Canadian, and we are here to show our cultural heritage,’’ said a woman representing Tamil Nadu.
Singing and dancing on a bright sunny day, parade participants waved to passersby. For a while, it is all music and dance as the parade wound its way through Yonge Street, Queen Street, Bay Street and Dundas Street to reach back at Yonge-Dundas Square.
“Participation in the parade has passed all our expectation. We are so delight. Today’s show is incredibly amazing in terms of visibility and numbers of people who came to participate in the parade. We are very satisfied with everything,’’ said Panorama India Chair Jibanjit Tripathy as he, along with Consul General Preeti and others, led the parade.
For the first, North-east India was also represented in the parade by over a dozen people.
“We are very happy to become part of larger Indian family, and we are feeling proud today as Indians and Manipuris,” said Joy Chabungbam who comes from Imphal in Manipur.
“We are just 40-odd people from Manipur here in Toronto, and we increase in number we want to participate in more and more Indian functions,” said Chabungbam.
Later, the Gujarat parade contingent was declared the best, followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Gujarat got $400, Kerala $250
and Tamil Nadu $150 as a token prize by Panorama India chief Jibanjit Tripathy.
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