“Honoured to celebrate Holi in Ahmedabad” tweets Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as he arrives in India

This isn't my first Holi but is my first in India, great to be celebrating it in Gujarat says PM Albanese.

The Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, arrived in Ahmedabad today (8th March 2023), capital of the Indian state of Gujarat for a three day visit to India.

This is the first visit by an Australian Prime Minister to India since 2017 and the first visit by an Australian Prime Minister to Ahmedabad. PM Albanese will also travel to Mumbai and Delhi during this visit.

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Prime Minister Albanese with Governor of Gujarat Acharya Devvrat (Twitter)

Prime Minister Albanese was welcomed at the airport by Chief Minister of Gujarat Bhupendrabhai Patel and Minister of State, Jagdish Vishwakarma.

The ceremonial welcome included a greeting, garland of flowers and a performance by traditional Gujarati dancers. 

Prime Minister Albanese was hosted by the Governor of Gujarat, Acharyra Devvrat, at Raj Bhawan. He thanked Governor Devvrat and Chief Minister Patel for hosting and welcoming him.

“Thank you to Your Excellency Devvrat for hosting me at Raj Bhawan.

Thank you as well to Chief Minister Patel for welcoming me to your state of Gujarat.

This isn’t my first Holi — it’s definitely a highlight on the Australian festival calendar — but it is my first in India.

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And it’s great to be celebrating here, in Gujarat.”

PM Albanese also said that holi is a chance to renew ourselves — and each other and it’s little wonder it has been so heartily embraced back home in Australia, by people of all backgrounds.

“That’s what we’re all about in modern Australia.

Our multicultural nation benefits from respecting the beliefs, traditions and experiences of people from all over the world.

From Australia’s First Nations peoples — custodians of the world’s oldest continuous culture — to families and communities joining us from every land.

And making Australia home.

This includes generations of Indian migrants.

Today, Australia has an Indian-born diaspora of nearly 800,000 people — and it’s growing quickly!

Many of them are Gujarati, too.”

PM Albanese with Australian High Commissioner to India Barry O’Farrell (Twitter)

He said that according to recent census reports more than 80,000 Gujarati-speakers have made a home in Australia. PM Albanese further added that whatever the future holds, he knew that Australia’s Indian-origin community is and will continue to be a crucial partner in the task of making our great nation greater still.

“Across the board, Australians of Indian heritage are making incredible contributions.

In business and education, industry and academia, the caring professions.

And as volunteers, neighbours and friends.

They’ve given so much — and, in doing so, live out the message of Holi: making connections, building communities and enriching lives.

These human ties bind Australia and India — and must always be at heart of our relationship.

And I know that when the gulal we scatter today has drifted away, the ties between us — hearts and minds; family and friendship — will endure and flourish.

Have a wonderful celebration.”