Pride At New York Parade
By Prashanth Lakhihal
In a show of ethnic Indian American pride and the rich
cultural heritage of Indias diverse population, thousands
thronged the 22nd Annual India Day Parade as it kicked off on the
Madison Avenue here on August 18.
On a hot sweltering day, which might have added to keeping the
crowds lower than last years, where temperatures soared over
100 degrees, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Indias Julia Roberts, led
the parade as grand marshal.
She walked along the 20-odd streets starting from 42nd street along
with the participants who waved Indian flags and chanted "Bharat
Mata Ki Jai," "Vande Mataram," "Mahatma Gandhi
Zindabad," and "Jai Hind." The top Bollywood actress
charming smile and a chance to look at her was the top draw of this
years parade that was dedicated to the victims of September
Indias Ambassador Lalit Mansingh, Counsel General in New
York Pramathesh Rath and other dignitaries from India and the US
joined the parade.
Sponsored by the Federation of Indian American Associations, an
umbrella organization of over 150 regional, social, cultural, educational
and religious associations in the Tri-state area of New York, New
Jersey and Connecticut, the parade hosted floats, marching bands
and civic organizations in a truly festive atmosphere.
The parade was followed by a four-hour-long cultural function (mostly
song and dance, from Bollywood to folk), which lasted till 8 p.m.