Mumbai: Tonight the U.S. Consulate General Mumbai held an early celebration of the 240th anniversary of U.S. independence on the Consulate lawns at the Bandra-Kurla complex in Mumbai. U.S. Consul General in Mumbai Tom Vajda welcomed guests to the road trip-themed event, which featured six U.S. cities and distinct cultural experiences. Chief Minister of Maharahstra, Honorable Devendra Fadnavis, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. He was joined by the Guest of Honor, former Miss America Ms Nina Davuluri.
Consul General Vajda, reflecting upon the diversity of America as seen in the distinct cultural displays of the evening, said, “The theme of our celebration this evening highlights one of the most important U.S.-India commonalities – diversity. As in India, diversity is a hallmark of life in the United States. It is one of our greatest strengths, and one of our most cherished values. I believe it is diversity that gives us a unique vitality and resilience.” He said the road trip theme and city exhibits “give you a glimpse into who we are and what we are about as Americans. They are a small window into the diversity of the United States.”
The event commemorated the adoption of the U.S. Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, and the country’s subsequent 240-year history as the world’s oldest democracy. While usually celebrated on July 4, the Consulate celebrated National Day early this year in order to be able to host the event outdoors on the Consulate grounds.
As part of the road trip theme for the evening, guests enjoyed region-specific culinary delicacies, and each city – San Francisco, Detroit, Memphis, New Orleans, Santa Fe and New York City – was brought alive in a scenic montage. Visitors mingled and took selfies around the city displays. A display of vintage American cars added to the fun-filled bonanza. The ceremony also featured a Color Guard presentation by the U.S. Marines in honor of Independence Day, followed by the Indian national anthem. As a symbol of our mutual friendship, children of the Consulate’s American officers sang the Indian national anthem, and Indian employees at the Consulate sang the U.S. national anthem.
Captions for attached photos: 1) U.S. Consul General Tom Vajda delivers remarks at an early Independence Day celebration. 2) U.S. Consul General Tom Vajda, Maharashtra Chief Minister, Honorable Devendra Fadnavis and Former Miss America Ms Nina Davuluri listen to the Indian and U.S. national anthems performed.