About Us Indian Association of Aruba Celebrates 65th Republic day of India

With a week-long Expo in UNOCA on the life of Gandhi and other artifacts of India

This year 26th January, India celebrated the 65th Anniversary of its Republic Day. On this occasion, the Indian Association of Aruba organized an exhibition on Indian artifacts and life and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi at Unoca and invited people in Aruba to visit the expo from 27th to 31st January.


Gandhiji was a reformer, freedom fighter and a great visionary from India. During his train journey from Durban to Pretoria, he was thrown out of a first class railway compartment on the wishes of a white passenger even though he had a valid ticket. This historic journey brought him face to face with the stark realities of British rule and he stayed there for 21 years until all his main demands were met by British colonizers.


Gandhiji then listened to the call of his motherland and started a unique freedom struggle with his principles of ‘NON-VIOLENCE & TRUTH’. His non-violence did not mean inaction; on the contrary, Gandhiji would oppose every act of oppression and injustice but with his own philosophy of non-violence. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr, ‘The intellectual and moral satisfaction that I fail to gain from anywhere else, I found in the non-violent resistance philosophy of Gandhi.’


The Expo also had a very colorful corner of Indian artifacts like its dresses, bangles, bindis, pots & sticks and other colorful handicrafts. Interspersed all over the expo were posters of Indian dance forms and its silk paintings. During his speech, Prakash Gupta, President of Indian Association of Aruba highlighted the fact of golden past of India, aggression by colonial powers and role of Gandhiji in the freedom struggle. Also he brought out the salient features of modern India’s social and economic growth and that with present economic growth, Indian economy is pulling some 40 million persons above poverty line every year and that by 2025, the prospects are great that there will be no poverty left in India.


The Expo had a closing function on the evening of Friday, the 31st January where the members of the Indian Association and prominent local dignitaries and business persons were invited. Chief Guest of the evening was Mr. Juan Irausquin, Hon’ble Minister of Finance and Public Governance and his wife Amy Irausquin. Mr. Irausquin appreciated the role of the Indian community in Aruban society and economy. He also appreciated the fact that India had achieved so much in a comparatively short period of 65 years.


Indian Association also presented a short cultural program on India’s classical music by Mrs Niti Gupta in the form of different ragas (melodies) which was accompanied by Dholak, a typical Indian musical instrument. This was greatly appreciated by all invitees. The evening closed with typical Indian vegetarian snacks like samosa, kachoris, vadas and pakoras with soft drinks. Shri Prakash also promised that Indian Association is busy right now with a center of its own and this will surely lead to more such interactions with the Aruban community where we can showcase different aspects of Indian culture. Thanks are due to UNOCA for its patronage and also the Indian Embassy in Caracas for sharing valuable pictures of Gandhiji’s life.