The embassy of India celebrates both of these ceremonies ever year, on the 15th of August and on the 26th of January. In each of these occasions, the program starts with a flag hoisting ceremony which happens exactly at 10am.
The event is open to Indians and locals alike, hence you can bring your French friends along with you. It is a good idea to reach there about 30 minutes in advance at least, if not more. Thus, ideally you are in front of the embassy by 9am to 9.30am.
Are these days holidays in France?
The 15th of August is a national holiday in France. The Christians believe that the mother of Jesus Christ, Mary went to heaven on this day. Thus, you can always attend the Independence day event.
For the 26th of January, there is no specific holiday on this day. So either you take half a day's leave from your office or see if it's on a weekend.
Do not forget to carry your identity proof
Before you go inside the embassy, you will have to show your identity card / passport / titre de séjour, or anything to attest your identity.
How to reach there
The embassy is located at 13-15 rue Alfred Dehodencq, Paris 16. Reaching there is not very straight forward, hence you will need help of your GPS if you are a first timer there.
Nearest metro to reach there is La Muette (line 9), or if RER C is more convenient for you, the closest stop is Boulainvilliers.
You need to know
That you cannot take any camera or mobile phone or handbag inside of the embassy. You will leave your things at the entrance to our embassy officers, before to get inside. You will be given a token against your materials. They have been doing it since years, and we never heard anyone losing their phone from the embassy.
Do not forget to sign the registry
As you get inside, leave your signature and visiting card (if you have) to those who will be welcoming you at the second level. Often, there are free takeaway journals or books on India, left by the embassy for you, at this level.
Wait for the ambassador and President’s speech
After the flag hoisting, our Ambassador gives his speech, and message of the President of India is then read by a junior officer. National anthem and songs are sung before and after the speeches.
Snacks and socialization
The fun part starts here. Snacks for breakfast is offered by the embassy, and you get to know members of our community. Most well known members of the community are there during these events, as well as all the officers from the embassy. Thus, if you like to socialize, that will be a very interesting part of the morning for you.
When it finishes
People leave by around midday.
Sourav Choudhury is a social entrepreneur working for the cause of Indian community living in France, since 2003. He is founder of multiple projects: the largest social network of the Indian community of France, a French language school for english speaking expatriates, this website, and several other projects.