In a visual treat, Kathak and folk dances of Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and other countries will be seen together this Republic Day, as a group of students of a school here will perform during the parade, marking the Indo-ASEAN ties. They will be among the 770 students who will take part in the grand celebration at Rajpath on January 26.
In an unprecedented event, leaders from the 10 ASEAN members — Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei — will be the chief guests in the Republic Day celebrations.
“A total of 150 of students from the Mount Abu Public School in Delhi’s Rohini, will present a colourful performance, dressed in the traditional attire of the 10 countries. Some of them would also be in Indian costume, representing the 25 years of partnership of India with ASEAN,” a senior official said today.
A preview for the media was held here, with some of the selected students sharing the excitement ahead of the big day.
Deepti Singh, 13, a student of Class 8 at the Mount Abu Public School, dressed up in a traditional filipina women costume, said, “We are so thrilled to perform on Rajpath. I will be representing the folk dance of the Philippines. And a few students will do Kathak.”
Anushaka Sharma, 12, said, “I will represent the Malaysian culture. We did some research on Internet and saw videos, and it took us about a month to get the hang of it. But, we learned so much about other countries.”
There will be a total of five performances by the students, including two from the Directorate of Education (DoE), Delhi government, and one each by the groups from the North East Zone Cultural Centre and the South Central Zone Cultural Centre of the Ministry of Culture.
“The students from the South Central Zone, Nagpur, will perform the Baredi folk dance related to cattle farm culture and those from the North East Zone, Dimapur, will do Sangrai folk dance of Tripura, performed by Mog tribe in the month of April,” Deputy Director (Physical Education), Delhi’s DoE, Harjeet Kaur, said.
Students of the Rani Chennamma Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Jahangirpuri, will be the first to perform, with a song ‘Bharat Ke Rang’ and the Oxford Foundation School, Najafgarh will give a performance themed on ‘Shikshit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat’.
Asked how many slum children would be participating in the grand celebrations, Kaur said, “Most of the students coming from the South Central Zone are slum-dwellers, and many students of the school in north west Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area, are also from slums.”
“Most students are from Classes 8, 9 ad 11, and a few students fro Class 7 also. They have practiced really hard on Rajpath and are now raring to go,” she said.