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Chicago’s suburb of Naperville to host India Independence Day parade this year

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Naperville: The Chicago suburb of Naperville is to officially host the India Independence Day parade this year, making it the first city in Midwest America to do so.

The parade is organized in many American cities by private organizations like the Federation of Indian Associations. The parade will be held on August 16.

Naperville’s Indian Community Outreach Organization(ICO) and the Alliances of Midwest Indian Association have jointly organized the parade and related celebrations which include hoisting the Indian flag at the Naperville Municipal Center. The organizers said that they anticipated a large turnout, rivaling the Independence Day parade in Chicago’s ‘little India’ Devon Avenue, traditionally the biggest such event in the area.

The India Day Parade will showcase India’s rich and diverse culture, with several floats organized by Indian cultural, business and political organizations. Spectators will be treated to a rich variety of Indian cuisine, ethnic arts, apparel and jewelry.

At an event to announce the parade, senior city officials were unabashedly enthusiastic. Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico and Mayor Emeritus George Pradel lauded the contributions of the suburb’s Indian American community. There was even a proposal for Pradel to be the ‘parade marshal’ attired in a traditional Indian attire.

“Indian Americans are now a significant part of Naperville’s population in both numbers and impact,” said ICO chairman Krishna Bansal. The community, which saw a dramatic grown since the nineties, now comprises ten percent of the suburb’s total population. Moreover, with the recent influx of information technology workers and other professionals from India, over 70 percent are first generation immigrants.

Local observers see the parade as a symbol of the rapid growth of the Indian American community in the Chicago suburbs. Indian-Americans are the largest Asian ethnic group in Illinois, according to data from the last census. Demographers and Indian community leaders say they expect that the figures will increase even more as highly educated Indians continue to fill jobs in the computer industry and change the face of the suburbs.

Earlier, Indian immigrants chose to first settle near Chicago’s Devon Avenue, and later moved to the suburbs as they prospered. In a demographic shift, recent Indian immigrants move directly to suburbs like Naperville, which has a highly regarded school system.

Naperville, ranked as one of the most desirable American cities to raise a family, is home to more than 10,000 Indian-Americans, making it the suburb with the largest population of the community in the area outside Chicago.

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Indian Diaspora Celebrates India’s Independence Day in Poland

India as a soft-power has emerged in a big way in the length and breadth of Poland.

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Indian community celebrates Independence Day in Poland. Flickr
Indian community celebrates Independence Day in Poland. Flickr

The Indian community-based in the Polish capital celebrated the 72nd Independence Day on Wednesday with great patriotic fervour.

Hundreds of Indians along with their Polish friends assembled in the Indian Embassy early morning and were greeted by newly-appointed Indian Ambassador Tsewang Namgyal.

Namgyal unfurled the tricolour and joined the people there when the national anthem was played at the venue. He then read a message by President Ram Nath Kovind delivered on the eve of Independence Day.

Addressing the Indian community in Poland, Namgyal said: “You are an important bridge between the two important nations. Your hard work and your commitment speaks (for) itself.”

Indian restaurant
Indian restaurant. Pixabay

Kirti Gahlwat, a yoga teacher sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), displayed her talent and mesmerized the audience with her remarkable asanas.

She was followed by Kathak dancer Jigna Dixit, who was also sponsored by the ICCR to promote the dance form in Poland. Dixit was joined by several Polish students.

In the afternoon, the Indian community in Warsaw organised an event displaying Indian cuisine, spices and handicraft items. At the same time, Polish girls performed on Bollywood songs and also showcased Bharat Natyam and Kathak dance forms.

Also Read: 70 years after Independence Power reaches Elephanta Isle near Mumbai

“India as a soft-power has emerged in a big way in the length and breadth of Poland. There are more than 100 Indian restaurants in Warsaw alone. One can find an Indian restaurant practically on every important street in Warsaw,” said J.J. Singh, President of the Indo-Polish Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“There are more than 300 yoga centres and there are five Polish groups which organise Indian music and dance programmes regularly,” he added. (IANS)