Seoul: Local artists performed classical Indian dances like Kathak and Odissi as members of both the Indian and Korean communities jointly celebrated the independence days of both countries at a unique function.
To mark the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, the Indian embassy in Seoul organised a joint celebration of India`s and South Korea`s independence days, the embassy said in a statement. South Korea celebrated its first Liberation Day Aug 15, 1945.
India`s Ambassador Vishnu Prakash hoisted the tricolour, which was followed by singing of India`s national anthem. The envoy read out excerpts from President Pranab Mukherjee`s message to the nation.
A cultural programme organised by the Indian Cultural Centre at the embassy and the Indian community in Seoul featured Korean artists performing Kathak, Oddisi and yoga.
An Indian bazaar displaying handicrafts, traditional decorative "henna", Indian dolls and dresses was also inaugurated by the ambassador. The bazaar also featured Indian books translated in Korean, and had booths offering a selection of Indian cuisine, which was savoured by around 500 visitors.
A special screening of Bollywood movie "Veer Zaara" with Korean sub-titles was also screened.
An Indian youth delegation, led by Dr. Prabhakant, Executive Director of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, also participated in the festivities.
According to the embassy, the Indian community in South Korea is estimated at 7,500. Most of them are businessmen, IT professionals, scientists, research fellows, students and workers. The businessmen deal mainly in textiles and gems and jewellery.
There are also 2,500 South Koreans, including 1,500 school children, studying in India.