Updated 08/26/2012 04:00 PM
Parade, Street Fair In Manhattan Celebrate Pakistani Independence
Tens of thousands of Pakistani New Yorkers celebrated their homeland's 65 years of independence on Sunday in Manhattan with a parade and a street festival. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Idrees Chaudhry has been coming to the Pakistan Day Parade every year for most of his life.
"It is basically the independence of Pakistan. Bring everybody together from the melting pot from Pakistan. We all migrated here years ago and there are still people coming every year," Chaudhry said.
Idrees' wife, Alia, moved to the city here from Pakistan just six months ago. After the couple's arranged marriage it took nine months for her to be able to move to the United States.
Alia says the Sunday's event reminds her of home.
"Yes I am missing my home and my parents. But the rest of my family is here. So I came with my family. So it is nice here," Alia Chaudhry noted.
Idrees and Alia were just two of thousands who came to celebrate the 28th annual Parade. It marks Pakistan's independence from Great Britain in 1947. Floats filled with green and white made their way down Madison Avenue.
"We have a theme this year that is only peace for everyone. So all over the world. Because we need very badly over here. Especially in U.S. and in Pakistan. U.S. and Pakistan long live in friendship," said Munir Lodhi, Secretary General of the Pakistan Day Parade Committee.
Once the parade wrapped up the crowd headed next to Madison Square Park where the celebration continued with a festival.
"I think the best part is just to see the whole community here together doing something positive. I think because of all the political turmoil that is going on in Pakistan currently. It is just to see everyone together and enjoying themselves," said Aisha Qadeer, a parade and festival goer.
For Qadeer and her family the festival included sharing a plate of Biryani. For others, the day wa not just about taking in the culture, it was showing off their pride.
"I love my flag. I love the color of it. I love the design. The moon and the stars. I truly love my flag and I truly love my country," said one festival goer.
Even as the festival wrapped up, participants said they will continue to celebrate Pakistani pride until they gather again next year.