By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Reporter Kim Ji-yun
Passers-by near the Embassy of India in Hannam-dong in Seoul on Jan. 26, 2021 saw a flag-raising ceremony with Ambassador Sripriya Ranganathan of India making some solemn remarks while a number of people respectfully watching her. It was drizzling although it was not that heavy, but all the same Ambassador Ranganathan and her Embassy staffers did not appear to overly mind the drizzling rain although it was not so heavy.
That morning the Embassy of India in Seoul celebrated the 72nd Republic Day of India on Jan. 26, 2021, where Ambassador Ranganathan unfurled the national flag of India at the Embassy premises.
Physical attendance was limited, to abide by the local Government's COVID-19 related social distancing norms in Seoul. The majority of the community members, and friends of India in Korea joined the event online which was broadcasted live on Embassy’s social media pages and handles.
Important Korean dignitaries including Chairman Lee Nak-yon of the ruling Democratic Party (former Prime Minister) and current Chairman Kim Chong-in of the main opposition People Power Party, Chairman Song Young-gil of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee of the National Assenbly, Dr. Park Bok-yeong (Economic Advisor to the President and Chairperson of the Presidential Committee on New Southern Policy), and Mayor Heo Seong-gon of the Gimhae City gave congratulatory remarks, showing the bipartisan support to the India-Korea Special Strategic Partnership.
Extending a warm welcome to all the guests, Ambassador Ranganathan spoke about the importance of this year’s Republic Day celebration and read excerpts from the President of India’s Republic Day Speech. Ambassador Ranganathan also released a booklet on Atmanirbhar Bharat to mark this occasion.
The event continued with talented Indian and Korean communities giving various performances including patriotic songs by children of Indian Embassy officials, Gayageum performances from Gimhae city and dance performances from Indian community members. More than 150 people including Korean officials and friends of India and Indian community members participated the event online.
Korean legend has it that Prince Heo (Korean name) of India came to the Gaya Kingdom of Korea at the age of 16 in 48 AC and married King Kim Suro of the Gaya Kingdom of Korea as she was directed by God in her father’s dream to do so. King Kim Suro is the progenitor of the Kimhae Kim clan in Korea.