Indian community celebrates independence

On August 15, 1947, India declared its liberation from colonial British rule, establishing an independent nation state and looking to the future.

To celebrate, the Indian Association of Greater Boston holds flag raises with the Indian flag in many communities in the region in the run-up to August 15, known as India’s Independence Day, or India Day.

“We started doing this last year, where we went to different towns and villages, asking them to recognize India’s independence,” said Jeyanthi Ghatraju from Westford, board member of the ‘association.

Ghatraju said: “Most of the cities readily agreed, according to their own flag policies.”

Ghatraju is an Indian classical dance choreographer, teacher and performer and owner of the Natyanjali School of Dance in Westford.

This year’s celebrations are of particular significance, with 75 years of independence, Ghatraju

An idea that grows

In 2020, Ghatraju said 34 communities agreed to participate. This year the list has grown to over 40.

Westford was among the communities in 2020 that participated in the hoisting of the Indian flag in August, to honor India's Independence Day.  The Greater Boston Indian Association organized flag raising in several communities to mark the celebration of India's liberation from British rule.

In addition, many communities read a proclamation provided by the association, recognizing August 15 as India’s Independence Day.

The list of flag raising ceremonies understand :

  • Winchester, August 6, 10 a.m.
  • Westford, August 7, 11 a.m.
  • Littleton, August 8, 10 a.m.
  • Wilmington, August 13, 11 a.m.

In addition to honoring a historic day, Ghatraju said, “The idea is to raise awareness of the positive contributions we continue to make and the progress people have made here.”

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Festivities at the rendezvous

The association will be holding its annual Indian Independence Day celebration on August 15 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston.

The celebration will include cultural performances, food and a concert by the Berklee Indian Ensemble.

A flyer advertises the Indian Association of Greater Boston's annual Indian Independence Celebration, which will take place on August 15 at the Hatch Memorial Shell in Boston.

The association was founded in 1962 and celebrates a milestone next year, with 60 years of service to the Indian community.

Typically, every year, the association holds celebrations for Republic Day of India, celebrated on January 26, as well as India’s Independence Day.

Give a hand

The celebration in Boston was canceled last year, due to COVID restrictions.

Representative Jim Arciero from Westford poses for a photo on Westford Common in August 2020 with Noorain Buxamusa and Jeyanthi Ghatraju, both from Westford, and on the executive of the Indian Association of Greater Boston.  Arciero presented a citation in honor of the raising of the Indian flag, to celebrate the independence of India.

This year, as India experienced a massive upsurge in the pandemic, the association partnered with the American India Foundation, to raise funds for medical supplies and other needs.

Regarding COVID precautions in upcoming events, Ghatraju said: “We are certainly following [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines. I think it would be a good idea to check the website and wear a mask, just for our own safety. “

More information on the events is available at Greater Boston Indian Association website.

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