The Indian community in Abuja staged a colourful festival to showcase their rich cultural heritage. REGINA OTOKPA reports
It was an evening of glitz and glamour as the Indian Cultural Association, Abuja, rolled out the drums to celebrate its rich cultural heritage.
The event, which held at Cilantro (Sarius Palmetum) Abuja, attracted a large crowd of Indian nationals, friends and families, members of the diplomatic corps as well as the business community.
Diwali, which means “row of lighted lamps” is said to be a festival that symbolises the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
It featured several cultural dance performances from young Indians adorning beautifully designed costumes. It also featured a parade of Indian cuisine and presentation of awards to Indian businesses operating in Nigeria.
President, Indian Cultural Association, Abuja, Mr Guduru Reddy, said the show was organised in line with the objectives of the association, which is enhancing Indian cultural awareness in Abuja and Nigeria. According to Reddy, the Association was created as a platform for members to express their talents and creativity by engaging in cultural, traditional, recreational activities.
“India has always been considered a culturally rich country with diverse food habits, traditions, languages , festivals, rites and rituals, paintings and writings that are known as the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. Being the citizens of this mesmerizing country, we all should feel proud to be born in this cradle of civilisation. It is our primary duty to create the impact and awareness among the coming generation which will further lead to enrichment of Indian culture,” he said.
In a goodwill message to the gathering, the High Commissioner of India in Nigeria, Mr B.N.Reddy, expressed profound appreciation to the organisers of the cultural show for bringing together Indians and their families to share in the celebration.
Diwali, he said, has emerged as an important forum for members of the Indian community living in Abuja to interact, share experiences and celebrate.
“Diwali is a time for us to rejoice in the victory of the good over evil, light replacing darkness and knowledge removing ignorance. The myriad colours, sparkling radiance and contagious exuberance of Diwali transcends all barriers. This is an occasion one should strive to remember to keep up the ethos of this grand festival. Diwali or the Festival of Lights is now celebrated across the world. It is an occasion that brings together Indians and people of other nationalities and to spread the message of global togetherness among their friends across the entire world ,”he said.
However, the event also became an opportunity to bid an early farewell to the High Commissioner, who would be completing his tour of duty in Nigeria very soon.
Reddy and his wife, Lalitha, joined the High Commission of India in Abuja on June 24, 2016. As the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, he has concurrent accreditation to Benin, Cameroon and Chad.
During his two-year stay in Nigeria, Reddy is reputed to have brought a lot of vitality to the Nigeria/India bilateral relations, breaking new grounds for strategic partnership and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect.
He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1993 and has served in India Missions in Indonesia, Lao PDR, New York, Malaysia and Geneva. He is a multi-linguist and speaks Hindi , Telugu, Bahasa and English Language.