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Indian Pride At New York Parade
From India Tribune

By Prashanth Lakhihal

In a show of ethnic Indian American pride and the rich cultural heritage of India’s 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 year’s, where temperatures soared over 100 degrees, Madhuri Dixit Nene, India’s 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 year’s parade that was dedicated to the victims of September 11.

India’s 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.

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