President Barack Obama's experience at India's Republic Day celebration may have felt a little like his two presidential inaugurations. He watched the two-hour parade of military hardware, marching bands and elaborately dressed camels from a rain-soaked, open-air reviewing stand.
The experience was somewhat similar to his inaugurations in Washington. But it was different in some respects, too.
Obama watched both inaugural parades from an enclosed, glass-fronted reviewing stand that temporarily erected on the north side of the White House. The weather both times was dry and biting cold. There were no tanks or other military hardware doing a slow roll up Pennsylvania Avenue.
No dressed-up camels, either.
But there are always plenty of marching bands.
Republic Day commemorates the anniversary of when India's constitution came into force in 1950.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Obama to be the celebration's chief guest, which an Indian TV commentator said is one of the most significant honors India can bestow upon a foreign leader.
Obama is the first American president to attend Republic Day.
He sat between Modi and Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
On television, Obama was seen smiling as a group of children in blue uniforms danced and clapping after another performance. Michelle Obama, who accompanied her husband, also smiled at a dance performed by a big group of children in bright jumpsuits.
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Opening text from AP news story, White House Notebook: Obama Celebrates India's Republic Day, By Muneeza Naqvi.
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