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Virtual National Day Celebration By The Embassy of the Czech Republic in New Delhi

The Embassy of the Czech Republic in New Delhi celebrated the National Day of the Czech Republic with a virtual celebration event. October 28 marks the 102nd anniversary of the founding of the independent Czechoslovak state. This day is celebrated to honour those who fought for the sovereign state of Czechoslovakia.  

Czechoslovakia gained independence in 1918 after the Habsburg Empire collapsed at the end of World War I. After World War II, the state came briefly under the influence of communism but later returned to the liberal democracy in 1989. The country split peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Over the years, the Czech Republic has developed into one of the safest, peaceful, and developed countries in the world. The country maintains a welfare state and is ranked consistently high in the Human Development Index.

The event began with the greetings from the ambassador of the Czech Republic to India, H.E. Mr Milan Hovorka. He was a constant companion to the viewers throughout the event. The musical performance of philharmonic orchestras set the tone of the evening, connecting the people of the Czech Republic and the Republic of India in musical harmony. The evening began with the performance of national anthems of India and the Czech Republic by the orchestra, conducted by maestro Debashish Chaudhuri. Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra (Karlovarský symfonický orchestr), one of the oldest orchestras in Europe, performed the musical pieces of the evening.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Mr Tomáš Petříček, addressed the viewers and shared his thoughts. In his address, he remembered Mahatma Gandhi and how his thoughts inspired leaders of the Czech Republic across the political spectrum during the Velvet Revolution in the late 1980s. “One of the main inspirations for Czech resident leaders was Mahatma Gandhi his ideas and principles attracted politicians from all sides of the political spectrum in post-communist Czechoslovakia. Both Gandhi and former Czech president Václav Havel became symbols. Thanks to them, people believed that personal engagement, persistence, and hope for a better future may overcome what seems impassable. The values of Gandhi and Havel are the pillars of the Czech-Indian partnership.”, he said in his address.

Mr Tomáš Petříček further mentioned that the coronavirus hasn’t alerted their determination to strengthen partnership in business, culture and Politics. He also appreciated every facet of the Czech-India cooperation.

After the honourable foreign minister’s address, the orchestra played two of Antonín Dvořák Slavonic dances. The two compositions belonged to the set of 16 dancers which Antonín Dvořák had written, particularly in1886. The second composition is very famous and had also inspired the famous Bollywood composer Salil Chaudhary in 1950s and 1960s.

The last performance was based on a rare Indian raga called Jaijaivanti. This raga is believed to evoke a sense of achievement as well as sadness, analogous to the current state as the world fights to overcome the pandemic. The event concluded with H.E. Ambassador Hovorka extending his greetings to the Hon. President of Republic of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind.