Friday, January 28, 2011

The New Face of the Indian Army

Wednesday, Jan. 26 was Republic Day in India. This day is a national holiday. There is a big parade in central Delhi with marching bands, military units and fancy weapon systems. The parade also includes beautifully decorated floats that highlight the culture and unique customs of each of India's 28 states. For protection, the Republic Day Parade is usually guarded by thousands of police, special forces and army units from all over India.
As many people do here, we celebrated the day by taking a mid-day walk on the grounds of nearby Humayan's Tomb. The weather is near perfect from Evan's birthday (Jan 22) on through the end of February - so it was great day for a stroll.
We learned a little more about the Mogul Emperor Humayan, and his son Akbar from some new historical displays in the park. But what made this walk truly memorable was bumping into the Indian Army on our way out. I'll just call them "the Gals from Gurgaon," which is where their unit was from: Gurgaon, Haryana. I guess the women had just been given a short leave, after parade duty, so they all came to visit one of Delhi's prettiest parks... We happened to bump into them on our way out.
Charming, confident and outgoing, these young women make such wonderful representatives for India's modern defense forces. It was a pleasure to meet them!

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