The Embassy of India in Antananarivo celebrated the festival of Raksha Bandhan on Thursday at their auditorium where Ambassador Abhay Kumar highlighted the importance of the festival, according to the statement from the Indian Embassy in Madagascar.
The event was attended by members of the Indian diaspora, local government, ITEC/ ICCR alumni and media persons in Madagascar.
On this occasion, the Ambassador presented eco-friendly Bamboo Rakhis, which were hand-made by the Adivasis of Melghat from the Maharashtra state to the prominent members of the Indian diaspora and persons from Madagascar who have been helping the Embassy in the promotion of Indian culture in Madagascar.
During the event Ambassador also read the message of Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, the President of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) which highlighted the meaning and importance of the festival.
"Raksha Bandhan is an integral part of Indian Culture, and for ages, people have been celebrating this festival in their own way. As a part of this Raksha-Bandhan, traditionally like a friendship band, a thread is tied on the wrist of one's dear ones and near ones! This is a symbolic binding, a sacred vow to defend, and protect each other, with the sister praying for the long life of her brother and the brother silently renewing the pledge to protect her life and honour at all cost," Kumar said
With the passage of time, this festival has become gender neutral. In the present day, it has come to symbolise all seeking and giving of protection regardless of relationship. Nobody is isolated, nobody needs to feel lonely and be left to himself/herself as we are all a part of a universal family. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam is the foundation of India's world view and today it is extremely relevant to spread it all over the world!" he added.
India has always stood with Madagascar during its time of need. The announcement of the donation of 15000 bicycles and 5000 tonnes of rice by India to Madagascar on the occasion of 15 August is an example of this. Ambassador wished for India-Madagascar's long bond. (ANI)