Indian troupe for Chingay

As part of Singapore's 50th birthday celebrations, this year's Chingay parade promises to be the biggest yet. More than 11,000 volunteers are expected to take part in the annual parade, with at least 1,100 expected to be international performers.

Nineteen international groups from 15 countries and regions will be taking part in the parade, as the world comes together to share wishes for Singapore's birthday milestone. The 1,100 international performers is double last year's 500 performers from five international groups.

Representing India at the parade is a dol cholam troupe from Manipur. Dol cholam is a popular folk dance form from India's north-east region. The troupe will showcase a thrilling percussion performance comprising mainly of drums.

The dol cholam troupe's 40 participants will join local performers from Narpani Pearavai, the People's Association's coordinating council for Indian Activity Executive Committees across Singapore, to make up the 300-strong contingent that will represent the Indian community.

This is not the first year that performers from India have been flown in to participate in the parade. Since its inception, at least five performing troupes have taken part in Chingay, representing central, north, south, west and east India.

But this year's performers, selected by the High Commission of India, will mark India's "first official participation as a country", said Indian deputy high commissioner Paramita Tripathi.

She added that having a joint float with local and international Indian performers is a symbol of India's deep ties with Singapore, especially as the two countries celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties.

The local performers, though, have yet to rehearse with their foreign counterparts, who will be arriving in Singapore only a week before the parade on Feb 27 and 28.

In line with the parade's festive and celebratory mood, the Indian contingent's 12m-long float will feature a wedding theme.

This year's parade will be broadcast on television in 26 countries and regions via a delayed telecast, and is expected to reach 35 million viewers.

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