More than 10,000 Indian expatriates and their family members
turned up at the King Fahd Amusement Park in Dammam at the weekend
to celebrate India Day, reports Arab News.
For a community which is scattered
throughout the province, the India Day celebrations provided a
good and unique opportunity to socialize, network and to
understand little known cultural nuggets of their own country.
“The turnout was beyond expectations,” admitted Mirza Zaheer Baig,
the key organizer who works as a scientist at King Fahd University
of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM). “When we thought of organizing
such an event, we never knew we would attract these many people.
This only indicates the sense of camaraderie that exists among the
members of the Indian community in the Eastern Province.”
The main attractions during the
massive celebrations were the pavilions set up to showcase
different cultural aspects of India’s many states.
Of the two million Indians in the
Kingdom, around 700,000 live and work in the Eastern Province
cities of Dammam, Alkhobar, Jubail, Al-Hasa, Qatif, Hafr Al-Batin
and Ras Tanura. In addition, many Indian families from Riyadh head
to the Eastern Province during weekends to enjoy the picturesque
beaches of Alkhobar and Jubail.
T.P.M. Fazal, from Kerala, who
played an instrumental role in bringing Indians of all shades
together, promised to make India Day celebrations an annual event.
“It is rare for Indians from Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Rajasthan, Karnataka and
other states to come together along with families for a day of
Managers at the park where the event was organized were
overwhelmed by the large turnout and colorful extravaganza. “We
have not had such a massive response to any event in our park in
nearly 10 years,” Arab News quoted Abdul Rahman Alawi. “We would like to host
such events in future as well.”