Barack, Michelle Obama dance with Mumbai school children

Sunday, November 7, 2010

MUMBAI - US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama danced with the kids of Holy Name School, Colaba, here today to celebrate Diwali with them.

The Obamas, who lit a lamp to mark the occasion, were greeted by the students here in their traditional Indian attire.

The school kids later performed the ‘Koli’ dance in honour of the Obamas’.

Both President Obama and Michelle Obama joined the kids for a foot-tapping Marathi folk number.

The school kids appeared all excited and geared up to celebrate the moment as the Obamas posed for a number of photographs with the children and gave autographs.

President Obama will later address the students of St Xavier’s College at Town Hall here, where he will have a date with India’s Generation Next.

After a tight schedule in Mumbai, President Obama will leave for a two-day stopover to New Delhi this afternoon.

Obama, who reaches the capital on Sunday afternoon from Mumbai, will have a busy schedule-visiting the Humayun’s Tomb and Rajghat, meeting Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and addressing the Parliament before he leaves on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and his wife, Gursharan Kaur, will receive President Obama when he lands here on Sunday afternoon.

Dr. Singh personally took the decision to go to the tarmac at the Air Force Station Palam, next to the Indira Gandhi International Airport to receive the Obamas’, who will arrive on Air Force One at 3.35 p.m.

This will be the third time that Dr. Singh will break away from protocol of not receiving dignitaries at the airport. He has departed from this on two previous occasions - In March 2006, when he went to receive then US president George W. Bush and before that, when he went to receive Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdullah Aziz.

The decision, according to one local daily, is an indication of how important the Indian leadership is seeing this visit by an American president.

During President Obama’s tenure in the White House (since January 2009), India’s relationship with the United States has grown in various sectors, and has been described by Obama as a defining partnership of the 21st century.

Obama is the fifth American president to visit India, the others being D.D. Eisenhower (1959), Richard Nixon (1969), Jimmy Carter (1978), Bill Clinton (2000) and George W. Bush (2006). (ANI)

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