Unfurling of the tricolour, cultural programmes and festivities marked the 60th Republic Day celebrations by the Indian community all over the world with patriotic fervour and enthusiasm.

The Indian High Commission in the Pakistani capital celebrated the Republic Day, with High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal hoisting the tricolour at an official function.

Mr. Sabharwal read out President Pratibha Patil's address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day and children of the high commission's staff performed patriotic songs. The function was held at the High Commission within the high-security diplomatic enclave in the heart of Islamabad.

In neighbouring Nepal, Ambassador Rakesh Sood hoisted the national flag at the Indian Embassy ground at Lainchaur in Kathmandu amidst hundreds of participants including diplomats, Indian nationals, journalists and students.

Mr. Sood, who read out the message delivered by President Patil, also donated 21 ambulances and six buses on behalf of Indian government to various agencies, including hospitals.

Nearly 500 Indian nationals in Dhaka joined the Republic Day function at the residence of the Indian High Commissioner Rajeet Mitter. A band of Indian Air Force played patriotic songs, while Mr. Mitter hoisted the tricolour.

“On behalf of the people of Bangladesh and myself, I extend my heartiest greetings to you and to the people of India on the occasion of the Republic Day of India,” President Zillur Rehman, said in his message to his Indian counterpart Pratibha Patil.

“I look forward to further strengthening the existing cordial ties of friendship, understanding and cooperation between our two countries in the years ahead,” Prime Minister Sheik Hasina said recalling her visit to India.

Around 400 Indians from all over Israel turned up for the Republic Day celebrations in Jerusalem braving inclement weather. Indian Ambassador to Israel Navtej Sarna, read out President Pratibha Patil address to the audience emphasising on the democratic principles of India.

The Indian mission in Israel also organised a ‘Guru Dutt retrospective’ on the 60th Republic Day, close on the heels of a highly successful Indian Film Festival for which Bollywood stars, Amol Palekar and Anupam Kher, also visited the country.

Indians living in Russia also celebrated the Republic Day with enthusiasm. In Moscow braving the unusual freezing temperatures hundreds of Indians with families gathered in the embassy compound for the flag hoisting ceremony which also took place at Indian consulates in St.Petersburg and Vladivostok.

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