Republic Day and more…..
On the occasion of the Republic Day in India, it would be appropriate to celebrate with Bharath Bala and A R Rahman’s wonderful take on Vande Mataram (Maa Tujhe Salam):
Way back when, Republic Day used to bring about much misty-eyed pride while catching the parade on TV; now I am more cynical, but this video is still moving.
Down under, it is also a holiday on account of Australia Day, which recognizes the foundation of the country by celebrating the day when the first British fleet landed. Just like 4th of July in the US, or the I-Day/Republic Day in India, there is a surfeit of flags all around – from cars to underwears, and the patriotic scale has been set to high. However, some Australians – quite appropriately – view it as Invasion Day, and many opponents, including this year’s Australian of the Year, Mick Dodson, have called for a change in date in order to be more inclusive of the indigenous people.
Either way, Aussies know how to enjoy a holiday (there are very few public holidays in the calendar year): the day is sure to feature thong-sporting picnic-ers, barbied snags, cheap lager, sun-burns, ferry races, air-shows and finally the ubiquitous fireworks in the evenings. This year coincidentally will even feature a celestial event with a partial solar eclipse visible towards the early evening.
And in that day-long partying spirit, here is one of the most celebrated songs about the country: