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January 24, 2012 > India Republic Day and Sankranthi celebrations

India Republic Day and Sankranthi celebrations

By Chinmai Raman

Republic Day of India commemorates the effective date for the Constitution of India. The Constitution transformed the Union of India into the Republic of India, declaring the country to be a "sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic" providing justice, equality, and liberty for its citizens. January 26 was chosen to honor the Declaration of Independence of 1930 when the country fought to be free from British rule. Although a huge parade and celebration takes place in the nation's capital of New Delhi, Republic Day is celebrated throughout the world.

Locally, India Community Center (ICC) in Milpitas is celebrating Republic Day on January 29 with a parade and a myriad of activities. ICC will also celebrate other Indian festivals traditionally celebrated in January. The Festival of Lohri marks the end of Winter; Makar Sankranti commemorates the beginning of the harvest season; Pongal is a popular harvest festival in South Indian states; Bihu is a major festival to celebrate preparation of fields for new crops in the northeastern state of Assam.

Children are invited to make an Indian flag and join in the Republic Day parade, decorate a kite for Makar Sakranti, enjoy special snacks for Lohri and Bihu, participate in Kolam art for Pongal, and hear storytelling from the Kumoan Region.

Radio Zindagi and Association for Kids/Youth Programs will be hosting a kids painting competition and public speaking competition as part of an India Republic Day celebration. Kids between the ages of 3 and 15 are eligible to participate in this free event, but prior registration is required. The public speaking competition gives each participant a maximum of four minutes to speak on a topic of their choice.

Painting competition participants can choose from themes of: India Culture, India Dances, Music, Religion, Festivals, Nature, Great People of India and the U.S., or a subject of their liking. Crayons, color pencils, or water colors can be used to create their masterpiece. Drawing paper will be provided at the venue but participants are required to bring all other necessary art supplies.

Winners of both competitions will be presented with awards and certificates from City dignitaries. Top competitors of the public speaking contest will also have an opportunity to appear on Radio Zindagi shows.

Following the competitions, attendees can enjoy a cultural program and live performance by the Radio Zindagi Team from noon to 2 p.m.

India Republic Day Kids Competitions
Saturday, Jan 28
9 a.m. - noon
Cultural program and Radio Zindagi performance
12 Noon - 2 p.m.
Fremont Community Center
Lake Elizabeth
40000 Paseo Padre Pkwy., Fremont
(510) 378-0698
Free; registration required

ICC India Republic Day
Sunday, Jan 29
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
India Community Center
525 Los Coches St., Milpitas
(408) 934-1130
Free; registration required

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