AROUND 150 members of the expatriate Indian community in the Belait District recently came together to celebrate the 70th Republic Day of India, in a colourful event organised by the Indian Association of Belait (IAB).
The guest of honour, Indian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Ajaneesh Kumar, was welcomed to the event by IAB President K Salim bin Abdul Karim.
Republic Day honours the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on January 26, 1950, replacing the Government of India Act (1935) as the governing document of India.
The day is celebrated as a national holiday throughout India, together with flag-hoisting ceremonies, parades and national events.
The celebration began with a flag-hoisting ceremony at the IAB Hall in Seria by the Indian High Commissioner followed by a pre-recorded video message from the President of India Ram Nath Kovind.
The Indian High Commissioner then delivered a speech acknowledging the efforts made by the IAB for promoting awareness on Indian and Bruneian culture, in addition to contributing towards social and charity events in Brunei.
He also disclosed efforts made by the Indian government regarding voter registration for non-resident Indians. General elections are due to be held in India between April and May this year, to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha (House of the People).
Following his speech, the Indian High Commissioner joined other attendees for a dinner.
In a press statement, the IAB committee thanked the Brunei Government for its support and assistance to the association, as well as to the Indian expatriate community.