XIX Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010
The Commonwealth Games 2010 commenced at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi, India on October 3, 2010. The games brings together 71 nations from across the Commonwealth – from the tiny Caribbean islands of Anguilla to the African nation of Zambia.
Opening Ceremony Traditions:
- From 1930 through 1950, the parade of nations was led by a single flagbearer carrying the Union Flag, symbolising Britain’s leading role in the British Empire.
- Since 1958, there has been a relay of athletes carrying a baton from Buckingham Palace to the Opening Ceremony. This baton has within it the Queen’s Message of Greeting to the athletes. The baton’s final bearer is usually a famous sporting personage of the host nation.
- All other nations march in English alphabetical order, except that the first nation marching in the Parade of Athletes is the host nation of the previous games, and the host nation of the current games marches last. In 2006 countries marched in alphabetical order in geographical regions.
- The national anthem of the host country will also be played during the occasion. The flags of three countries, the last host country, the present host country and the next host country, will fly at the main stadium.
- The military is more active in the Opening Ceremony than in the Olympic Games. This is to honour the British Military traditions of the Old Empire.
Commonwealth Games Traditions – Opening Ceremony
A spectacular ceremony opened 2010 Commonwealth Games at a packed Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in New Delhi, India. The dazzling event displayed India’s varied culture in a plethora of cultural showcases amid atmosphere of national pride and celebrations.
Guests of Honour
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (representing Queen Elizabeth II) officially declared the Games open. “Let the games begin,” President of India Pratibha Patil said. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the host nation, India, attended the opening ceremony as well.
A total of four heads of state from outside India attended the opening ceremony; three from Commonwealth nations and one from a non-Commonwealth nation. The four head of states are Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives, Marcus Stephen, President of Nauru and winner of seven Commonwealth Games gold medals, Sir Anand Satyanand, Governor General of New Zealand, and Prince Albert II of Monaco, whose country Monaco is not a member of the Commonwealth. Significantly, Satyanand is the first person of Indian descent to occupy his post as the Governor General of New Zealand.
Opening Ceremony – ‘India has Arrived’
The opening ceremony featured aspects of India’s heritage and culture in seven segments, as the colours of India depicted on an illuminated aerostat, world’s biggest helium balloon soaring in mid-arena.
There was a 500 ton stage, modelled on a traditional temple, and nine thousand performers, carefully chosen to represent India’s multitude of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.
There were seven segments in the nearly three-hour ceremony, including Rhythm of India, Swagatam, Tree of Knowledge, Yoga, Great Indian Journey, and Oscar winner composer AR Rahman’s rendition of the Commonwealth Games anthem Jiyo, Utho, Bado, Jeeto.
A laser show light up the sky as huge drums were wheeled into the arena. Hundreds of traditional drums, pipes and conch shells played a symphony that aimed to be “uniquely Indian in character, yet global in appeal”.
Hariharan led Swagatam (welcome), which created an amalgamation of Hindustani classical, Carnatic and folk music. Children from various Delhi schools participated in this. The children made mehndi (Indian henna tattoo, considered auspicious) on a large white piece of cloth in under 30 seconds on the spot.
The formal part of the event, a long procession of flag-waving athletes from the 71 competing nations came next. Australia entered first as the host of the last games, led by netball player Sharelle McMahon. 619 member strong Indian contingent entered last as the host, led by Olympic gold medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra. Excluding these two nations, the flag bearers entered by alphabetical order of their nations; Anguilla was the first (after Australia) and Zambia was the last (before India). Each flag bearer was preceded by a woman in traditional Indian dress, each reflecting a different part of the country, carrying a placard with the country’s name.
Abhinav Bindra took the oath on behalf of the six thousand seven hundred participants from 71 participating nations.
Sonal Mansingh, Bharti Shivaji, and Raja and Radha Reddy along with 1,000 dancers brought alive India’s “Guru-Shishya Parampara” on stage through classical dance recitals. The thermosat (the largest ever rented for such an event) formed the leaves of the banyan tree, while large strips elevated from the ground, made of silk and bamboo fibre form the tree trunk.
Over 1,000 experts performed yoga through installations.
Then came the Great Indian Journey, a glimpse of rural India, as seen through a train window. Art director Omung Kumar created a 600 feet train of bamboo sticks for this. It potrayed a common man’s life and every thing in it, such as spilling rickshaws, cattle, fishermen, hawkers, oversized sparkling bags of laundry, leering bureaucrats, weavers and brick kiln labourers.
AR Rahman, flanked by hundreds of Bollywood dancers, brought the ceremony to an electrifying climax with his rendition of Jiyo, Utho, Bado, Jeeto (live, rise, ascend, win).
Images from 2010 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony
2010 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony
(Highlights Part 1/2)
2010 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony
(Highlights Part 2/2)
The 2010 Commonwealth Games are the nineteenth Commonwealth Games. The Games are scheduled to be held in Delhi, India between October 3, 2010 and October 14, 2010.
With the launch of the official theme song on August 28, 2010 till the closing ceremony on October 14, 2010, we will bring you a series of articles to cover the games extensively.
Shera song to be performed at the opening ceremony