Wednesday July 24, 2024

Pakistan receives huge applause at London New Year’s Day Parade

By Murtaza Ali Shah
January 02, 2017

LONDON: Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of central London as a blockbuster-themed parade celebrating the start of the New Year — including Pakistan’s colourful contingent.

The colourful event won praise from the revellers lining the streets but without any doubt it was Pakistani music, dancing horses, dhol, Dil Dil Pakistan, Qawaali and cultural dances of Pakistanis that won the loudest praise throughout on the parade route. The Pakistani contingent was led by High Commissioner Syed Ibne Abbas and other officials of the High Commission who spent a lot of time preparing for the event.

The Pakistan segment featured horse dance, drum beating, regional music, colourful dresses, Kalash dance, Qawwali performance and much more. At the grand finale, the Pakistani performers enthralled the spectators with their music, dance, dresses, horse dance on drum beats and Qawwali performance. Pakistani souvenirs were also distributed among the spectators along the route that cheered the atmosphere of the parade.

Speaking to this scribe, Syed Ibne Abbas said: “We decided to take part in the London New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP) to showcase Pakistan’s actual vibrant image to over half a million people who turned out to watch the parade. This was a historic opportunity for us to present Pakistan in a positive light.

“This is first time ever that the High Commission participated in the LNYDP. The High Commission has endeavoured to showcase the beauty and diversity of our culture and people at the parade which will be watched by 0.5 million viewers and telecast live on 300 television channels across the globe. Participation in the parade is the prelude to a series of events planned by the High Commission to celebrate the 70th Independence Anniversary of Pakistan throughout the year 2017.”

The high commissioner hoped that tourism to Pakistan will increase as a result of this participation as “it was clear that people from all over the world liked the Pakistani contingent and praised the colours of Pakistan.”

Crowds massed in Whitehall to see 8,500 cheerleaders, marching band musicians and acrobats from across the world who will dance the route of the capital’s New Year’s Day Parade in its 31st year.

The celebration followed a dazzling New Year’s Eve firework display over the night as the New Year began on a high note.

The LYNDP kicked off at Green Park Tube station and ended in Parliament Square, taking in Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall.

Executive Director Bob Bone said: “The entire world has been beguiled by film and television down the decades and we wanted to pay homage to the men and women that produce such brilliant entertainment.

“We reckon we have about 20 different nations represented from Bolivia through to the US, and we’ve got Pakistan celebrating the 70th anniversary of the state of Pakistan, so all sorts.

“It’s a kaleidoscopic parade full of culture, music and colour. It's quintessentially quirky; the very best of British meets people from all over the world. And it's a testament to the fact that London is open for business.”