IAL President Selvaraj "Selva" Alagumalai gifts Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel a special T-shirt at India Day 2022; Credit: David Crimson

On Saturday 17 September 2022, Indian Association Luxembourg (IAL) held a celebratory India Day event, in collaboration with the City of Esch-sur-Alzette (Ville d’Esch-sur-Alzette), in Place de l’Hôtel de Ville in Esch-sur-Alzette.

More than 50 performers and various chefs showcased their talents during the seventh edition of India Day, which marked both 30 years of the existence of IAL and 75 year's of India's independence.

Special guests included Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, the Ambassador of India to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union (EU), Santosh Jha, the Mayor of Esch-sur-Alzette, Georges Mischo, aldermen Pim Knaff and Christian Weis, local councillors Daliah Scholl and Bruno Cavaleiro and Indian Diaspora Consular Rakesh Bansal. 

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel addressed the Indian community, noting that he was pleased to be able to attend this "important day". "You belong to Luxembourg", he added. “As a prime minister and as a former mayor of Luxembourg City, I always had good contacts with the Indian community. And you belong to the success of this country". He recalled that Luxembourg's success was based on its openness and recognition that "differences are a strength and not a weakness of a society", adding that "together we are stronger and we go further than alone". Luxembourg's Prime Minister went on to thank all the Luxembourgers and non-Luxembourgers present on India Day, stressing that "to celebrate together, to exchange and to learn from each other, this is how we should live together and this is what I like". IAL President Selvaraj "Selva" Alagumalai gifted the Prime Minister, and other dignitaries, a T-shirt (and a painting) marking 30 years of IAL and 75 years of India's independence.

Speaking to Chronicle.lu, Selva recalled that Luxembourg's Prime Minister had been present at IAL's 25th anniversary celebration and he had sent a video message for the fifth edition of India Day, a digital event due to COVID-19. "Now for 30 years of IAL and 75 years of India independence, he was with us on stage", said Selva.

"Particularly [having] the Prime Minister, Ambassador and Mayor on the same day on the same stage sharing with Indian community – I feel it was a great honour for me and the community", he added. "This is an achievement for me to bring them all together".

In addition to thanking the special guests for their attendance, Selva took to social media after the event to thank the "Indian home chefs, cultural performers, MCs, DJs, Dhol performer, volunteers, the diaspora and the local [municipal] officials who came together and made this a successful and memorable event for all of us".