NEWS

Indians and Pakistanis to Jointly Celebrate Independence Day

April 20, 2007
mbjesq

Friends Without Borders, Dil se Dil: Independence Day Friendship celebration

Sixty years and three generations after Independence, India and Pakistan have never jointly celebrated the seminal political event that gave birth to both nations. This year, all that will change.

On the night of August 14th and into the early hours of August 15th, preeminent musicians and celebrity Masters of Ceremonies will come together across the India-Pakistan border to lead the youth of both countries into a new era of friendship and cultural interaction - Dil se Dil - Independence Day Friendship Celebration.

The Friends Without Borders Team has been working tirelessly on this idea for more than two months. I have been reluctant to write about it until our plans came together to a point where we were in striking distance of making the vision a reality. (You may recall my post, Secret Agents (of Peace), where I dropped the hint that something big was afoot. Check out the video we made at that time in support of the hellish minefield of the permissions process.)

That time is now! Without getting ahead of ourselves, here are a few more details about the event.

Though this commemoration will entail a single concert, the performances will originate from two separate stages, one in India and one in Pakistan. The Indian artists will be venued in the historic Jalianwala Bagh (30 kilometers to one side of the Attari/Wagah Border), while the Pakistani musicians will play in the serenely spectacular Alhamra Amphitheater (30 kilometers to the other side). Live performances will alternate from one stage to the other, with the live audiences following the remote happenings on giant projection screens, creating a single, unifying event.

This two-stage-one-concert approach, with its innovative utilization of advanced telecommunications, is as symbolic as it is practical. It represents the younger generation doing exactly what they do best: harnessing technology to build community and to overcome distance, physical barriers, and outmoded thinking.

Dil se Dil is a celebration of the past, acknowledging shared history while recognizing that these two great countries are pursuing separate national destinies. It is a celebration of the present, displaying our common humanity. (We dance to the same songs!) It is a celebration of the future, demonstrating that mutual dreams of more peaceful, open, collaborative relations are indeed close at hand.

This historic event will be televised live by major networks in both countries. It will commence at 11:00 pm (IST) and conclude at 12:30 am (IST), thereby spanning the midnight hour in both time zones.

Watch this space for a series of announcements over the next several weeks, as we add partners, musicians, and other on-stage talent to our roster.

Midnight's Grandchildren Rock!

Mark Jacobs is a freelance volunteer, working on service projects in various places around the world. He lives half of each year in India and writes at www.memestream.org.
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Indians and Pakistanis to Jointly Celebrate Independence Day

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