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Manchester celebrates India's 75th year of independence with flag raising at City Hall

State officials and other activists have organized this day for months. Nashua already does the ceremony; it has the largest Indian community in the state, followed by Manchester.
Gaby Lozada
State officials and other activists have organized this day for months. Nashua already does the ceremony; it has the largest Indian community in the state, followed by Manchester.

As he stood under the raised flag of his home country of India outside Manchester City Hall, Keshva Mandya said he felt pride in the Indians who now call the U.S. home.

“The way things are integrated into this big melting pot is very nice,” said Mandya, who is visiting New Hampshire from India.

Mandya joined about 20 other people who gathered in Manchester on Wednesday to celebrate India's 75th year of independence by raising the country's flag and singing its national anthem.

Mayor Joyce Craig offered a speech at the event, saying she appreciated the start of this new tradition.

“Indian-Americans are valued community members, making significant contributions through volunteerism, activism, public service, and cultural influences,” she said.

Rep. Latha Mangipudi, from Nashua, greeted the attendees with “Namaste” and read a proclamation from Gov. Chris Sununu that highlighted India’s contributions in food, yoga, climate, culture, education, technology and more.

Mangipudi said she is proud to come from a heritage that embraces non-violence and civil disobedience. She said even though Indians feel welcomed in New Hampshire, they still sometimes encounter racism.

“Skin color is only the top layer, so let’s [fight against] inequality and injustice,” she said.

Mangipudi says there are more than 100 Indian businesses across southern New Hampshire.

Gabriela Lozada is a Report for America corps member. Her focus is on Latinx community with original reporting done in Spanish for ¿Qué hay de Nuevo NH?.
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