Singapore hails special friendship, historical ties: India's 70th Republic Day

70 years ago, the Indian Constitution came into effect on January 26. 

Every year on this day, celebrations take place all over India – and also out of India. On the Southeast Asian nation which was once itself a British colony, the Republic Day celebrations saw an enthusiastic turnout of not just Indian diaspora and NRIs, but also people of other cultures that make up this diverse society. 

Over 1,500 people attended the Republic Day reception at Marina Bay Sands on January 25. Hosted by the High Commissioner of India, Singapore, Mr Jawed Ashraf, the event saw Mr Gam Kim Yong, Minister For Health as the Guest of Honour. 

High Commissioner of India, Singapore, Mr Jawed Ashraf, sharing a toast with Mr Gam Kim Yong, Minister For Health, at the Republic Day reception on January 25. Photo: Connected to India
High Commissioner of India, Singapore, Mr Jawed Ashraf, sharing a toast with Mr Gam Kim Yong, Minister For Health, at the Republic Day reception on January 25. Photo: Connected to India
Members of Indian diaspora at the grand celebrations of India's 70th Republic Day at the Marina Bay Sands hotel Photo: Connected to India
Members of Indian diaspora and Singaporeans at the grand celebrations of India's 70th Republic Day at the Marina Bay Sands hotel Photo: Connected to India

The following day, over 1,200 enthusiastic Indians in Singapore attended the unfurling of the Tricolor and sang the national anthem at High Commission premises. Children from seven Indian schools put up brilliant dance performances to complete the joyous festive atmosphere. 

Republic Day flag hoisting on the grounds of High Commission of India on Republic Day. Photo courtesy: High Commission of India Singapore
Republic Day flag hoisting on the grounds of High Commission of India on Republic Day. Photo courtesy: High Commission of India Singapore

Singapore's President Halimah Yacob extended her warm congratulations to Indian President Ram Nath Kovind in a letter on the meaningful occasion.  

"Singapore and India enjoy a special relationship rooted in deep historical ties, vibrant people-to-people linkages, regular high-level exchanges and strong economic cooperation," she wrote in the letter shared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "In 2018, our two countries further expanded bilateral cooperation across several pillars of our Strategic Partnership, as well as launched cooperation in new areas including FinTech and innovation. I am confident that relations between our two nations will continue to strengthen in the years to come." 

An Indian school kid gets ready for her performance at the Republic Day Celebrations at the Indian High Commission in Singapore. Photo courtesy: Indian High Commission
An Indian school kid gets ready for her performance at the Republic Day Celebrations at the Indian High Commission in Singapore. Photo courtesy: Indian High Commission

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also expressed in a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi his heartfelt well wishes. "As India celebrates this auspicious day, we congratulate India on the great strides she has made in the country’s development as well as on the international stage."

Culture performances at Republic Day celebrations at High Commission of India, Singapore. Photo courtesy: HCI
Culture performances at Republic Day celebrations at High Commission of India, Singapore. Photo courtesy: HCI

He noted that the longstanding friendship between the two countries continues to expand with each passing year. Prime Minister Modi's two visits to Singapore in 2018 has also spurred a strong momentum to strategic partnerships, particularly in new areas of cooperation such as FinTech and innovation. "These initiatives and our many other cooperation platforms will bring Singapore-India relations to greater heights," Prime Minister Lee said. 

Indian High Commission puts in a great effort in including large numbers of Indians living in Singapore in the Republic Day celebrations. A Little India forms in the lawns of the High Commission. Photo courtesy: Indian High Commission
Indian High Commission puts in a great effort in including large numbers of Indians living in Singapore in the Republic Day celebrations. A Little India forms in the lawns of the High Commission. Photo courtesy: Indian High Commission

 

Author
Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Writer

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. An active Yoga practitioner and cat lover, with a background in Indian philosophy, subaltern and diaspora studies.

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