The UAE-India cultural celebrations festival was launched on Tuesday with a tribute video showing the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Mahatma Gandhi – two fatherly figures of two brotherly nations. The video took the audience through a journey of shared values, pluralism and multiculturalism.
Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan opened the initiative, ‘India-UAE Cultural Celebrations: A cultural partnership for a positive future’, and said Emiratis have always appreciated the hard work done by Indians and now it was time to celebrate.
“Indian citizens living and working in our country have been instrumental in the UAE’s rapid development into a global crossroads for finance, health, transportation, retail and wholesale, education, sports, and tourism.”
He said the Indian Republic Day was a memorable and symbolic moment in the glowing history of friendship between the two countries. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations. “It is only natural that we should celebrate the wonders of our respective cultures. We have embraced each other for so long that this initiative perhaps suggests a kind of golden anniversary. Whatever the case, the time for celebrations has come.”
Highlighting the programme’s logo, he said: “It shows the flags of India and the UAE planted firmly in the Ashoka Chakra surmounting the leaves of the ghaf tree – the national tree of the UAE. The moral authority of the 24 spokes of the chakra ready to roll into the future allied with the reverence for the environment represented by the ghaf tree signals a relationship of monumental significance.”
He thanked the Indian Embassy and the Indian Business and Professional Group (IBPG) for their collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development for the programme.
IBPG chairman BR Shetty said such initiatives were started some time back, when he got groups from different countries together. “This is an extension of such initiatives taken by the IBPG. We look forward to forging many strategic partners for each event, in the UAE and India, sharing the same purpose and objectives in boosting the ties between our two great countries.”