Namaste Australia! When Sydney landmarks were draped in tricolour

The Harbour Bridge and Opera House wore the Indian tricolour during PM Narendra Modi’s recent visit, showcasing Australia’s growing ties with India

| Updated: 29 May, 2023 9:46 pm IST
Sydney Opera House in India colour

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA): While taking shortcuts is not always advisable, there are moments when they open up a whole new dimension for you.

And a shortcut through the small lanes from the Shangri-La Hotel, which was abuzz with Indian media during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Australia, to the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and its twin attraction, the Sydney Opera House, could give visitors a broader view as one takes the steps that open a new door of experience.

The moment one stepped out on the promenade, that was linked to the Sydney Opera House, it was a moment of pride for the Indians as the iconic building donned the Indian tricolour.

The Sydney Opera House is not the only place, the colours of saffron, white and green also illuminated another iconic structure, the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Harbour Bridge donned India colours


While many of us have seen buildings in the past that have donned our tricolour, watching them live is a feeling that is beyond expression.

It was like Australia celebrated India, the essence of India, the Indian diaspora and the Indian tourists. You will hardly find any Indian who has not clicked a picture. Every Indian, or person of Indian origin, who witnessed it, celebrated with a moment of pride. It made an Indian feel at home; as many members of the Indian diaspora said, “It’s a home away from home feeling.”

Beyond the feeling of emotional high, and all the chatter about showing love, respect and gratitude to the Indian community, the fact is that Australians are pragmatic with their decisions.

Australian PM Antony Albanese made no bones about why the Federal Government is trying to woo the Indians. “There are 1.4 billion reasons why we want the Indian flag on the Opera House because it has the largest population in the world,” Albanese said.

“Two-thirds of those 1.4 billion people are under the age of 35. We want a relationship with them, we want them to come to Australia, bring their dollars, create jobs and create that economic activity in the tourism sector,” the Aussie PM said.

There was another aspect to the show of love for the Indians by the Australian government. The illumination of two iconic buildings with the Indian tricolour also highlighted the growing closeness between the two nations.

A simple gesture that holds great promise, the light show signifies the strengthening of bilateral relations between the two nations. It is also an acknowledgement of the contribution of the Indian diaspora to the economy of the country.

The rockstar treatment that PM Modi got during his recent visit shows his growing stature on the world stage. At the Qudos Bank Arena, PM Modi spoke at length about mutual trust and respect, and Aussie PM Alabanese’s presence showcased the kind of trust and respect both the countries and the leaders share.

While curry, cricket and Commonwealth served as a conversation starter between the two nations, the fact is that both countries are looking to take their relationship to the next level as they dream about further strengthening the relationship in every walk of life.

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