History meets culture at opening ceremony
Gold Coast: Australia celebrated its ancestry and native traditions in a soul-stirring Commonwealth Games opening ceremony but protests by indigenous aboriginals against the very idea of Commonwealth came as a poignant reminder of the unforgotten colonial brutalities.
The Indian contingent, led by flag-bearer Olympic silver-medallist P V Sindhu walked out to a warm reception from the nearly 25,000 strong crowd which filled up the stadium that will also host the athletics event as well.
The Indians ditched tradition for comfort in the ceremony, marching out in blazers and trousers rather than the conventional sarees and bandhgalas.
But the festivities inside could not completely overshadow the protests by aboriginal groups, who raised slogans and blocked the Queen's Baton Relay for close to an hour at The Spit area of the city.
They protested against the brutalities committed during Britain's occupation and insisted that the country should have nothing to do with the Commonwealth, given the land and a generation that was "stolen" by the colonial masters.
The party went on nonetheless and the ceremony began with a countdown sequence that welcomed the visitors.