Commemorating India’s 68th Republic Day, a special reception was organised in partnership with the Daegu city administration at the Inter-Burgo hotel on 25 January 2017. Over 150 eminent persons and friends of India from Daegu and other areas of the Gyeongsang Provinces joined the co-hosts, His Excellency Mayor Kwon Young-jin and Ambassador Vikram Doraiswami, in the celebrations.
2.In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Doraiswami thanked the colourful city of Daegu for hosting India’s Republic Day celebration and alluded to the expanding ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between India and the Republic of Korea, set in place during Prime Minister’s visit on May 2015. He also thanked Daegu for hosting the memorial of Colonel Unni Nayar, an Indian soldier who was killed on duty during the Korean War. He invited Korean companies in Daegu to partner and invest in India, in fashion, medical, IT Convergence and Hi-tech components.
3.Mayor Kwon Young-jin thanked the Embassy of India for bringing India’s important celebration to Daegu, and hoped that more exchanges in culture, tourism and business would take place. He mentioned the increasing trend of economic exchanges between India and Daegu, with exports of US$ 230 million in 2016. Celebrating India’s rich and diverse culture, Mayor Kwon added that India had ‘unlimited potential’ in IT and Hi-tech industries.
4.Guest of Honour Mr.Baek Seung-joo, Member of National Assembly, applauded India’s ancient history and culture, and said that India is ‘re-emerging as one of the leading nations in the world’. He also celebrated India’s secular and democratic fundamentals captured in the Constitution of India, adding that Korea had upheld similar fundamentals after independence. Calling India Korea’s ‘old friend’, he said Korea will always be on India’s side.
5.The celebrations in Daegu also included a short greeting by President Jin Young-hwan of Daegu Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and a short cultural programme jointly organised by the Indian Cultural Center Seoul and the Daegu city administration. Among them, a fusion of Indian classical dance and Korean traditional drums was specially presented. The Indian Cultural Center Busan, led by Honorary Consul General Mr.Jeong Deokmin, also organised a special children’s choir for the occasion. Supreme Patriarch Jinje of the Jogye Order was also present as a guest of honour.