A reception to celebrate the 66th anniversary of the Republic of India was held at India House on East Kings House Road last Monday.
This year's India Day is being observed at a time when India is witnessing a turning point in its post-Independence era. The recent parliament election put the political party Bharatiya Janata in the driver's seat to rule the country.
Specially invited guests greeted High Commissioner Pratap Singh and his wife on arrival and were welcomed with a refreshing glass of fruit juice.
During his address, the high commissioner noted that it has been four decades since India established diplomatic relations with Jamaica.
"Our countries, since then, have enjoyed cordial and friendly relations based on common linkages of history, parliamentary democracy, being members of the Commonwealth, English language, and our love for cricket."
Representing the Government of Jamaica, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites expressed appreciation for the benefits of the technical assistance provided to Jamaican students through the India Technical and Economic Cooperation Programmes. He also highlighted the newly installed floodlights at Sabina Park, facilitated by the Indian government, and said Jamaica was looking forward to new avenues for cultural exchange and understanding between both countries.
"We look forward to next month's visit of the Indian foreign minister of state. We remain committed to working together in partnership as we seek to improve the lives of both our people and further strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation between our two countries," he concluded.
Coupled with the beautifully decorated venue, the scrumptious menu included Indian staples such as chicken and vegetarian kebab, curried chicken, pulao rice, paratha chickpea and the Indian dessert gulab tamoon - accompanied by cranberry, sorrel, orange juices and sodas.
Among specially invited guests present were Spanish Ambassador Anibal Jimenez Abascal, South Africa High Commissioner Mathu Joyini, Foreign Affairs State Minister Arnaldo Brown, Thalia Lyn and her husband Michael, Chief Justice Zaila McCalla, and former Prime Minister Edward Seaga.