Discussion in 'General Multimedia' started by cloud_9, Oct 2, 2012.
Flagoff - Monday, 26 Nov 2012 [Yogyakarta, Indonesia]
ASEAN INDIA Car Rally 2004
Great event and i like mahindra xuv 500
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Sunday, November 25, 2012- Day 0
The Indonesians do know how make their welcomes a warm, grand affair. The reason we say this is because on Day 0 itself- we got a taste of Indonesian hospitality.
The first official dinner hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture included a cultural show- depicting the Ramayana, with actors and dancers in colourful costumes and with beautiful native music. The Director-General of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture welcomed the guests, including the dignitaries from the various countries, drivers of the Car Rally and the crew assisting them. His words of encouragement and enthusiasm ensured that the drivers of the AICR were just as enthused about the journey starting the next day, that is- Day 1.
The grand evening and the grandiosity of the dinner had exhausted the guests and the hosts. We retired to the hotel rooms, eager to start on the ASEAN India Car Rally 2012- an opportunity of a lifetime!
Monday, November 26, 2012- Day 1
The big day arrived. As announced world over, the ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012 would be launched on this day, at Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Excitement levels were peaking as we couldnâ€™t wait to start off on this promising journey. Equipment and formalities in place, we set off to be part of the mega-event.
We started our morning with a briefing session. The flag-off of the AICR had been scheduled for 9 AM, so we ensured that all the dignitaries, drivers and the crew was up and about, making sure that everything goes smoothly. Overseeing that was an experience in itself- with the chance to communicate with people from different cultures all at once!
With the cars, drivers and honorary guests all set, the chequered flag was waved, and the designated cars set off from Yogyakarta- the beginning of the AICR, journey across 9 countries, in a period of 26 days! Smiles, goose-flesh, and high levels of adrenaline made for the moment in history that we were all proud to be part of!
The first stop was to be at Borobudur, a heritage temple site. About an hourâ€™s drive from the hotel, 26 cars set off to the site- 22 official AICR cars and 4 with media and the organizers.
On reaching the venue, we were welcomed by a cultural performance by Indonesian dancers. A heart-warming display of their culture, the dance was followed by a multilingual musical performance by a band that played Hindi, English and Japanese songs! The familiarity of the music took us by surprise and we were all tapping our feet merrily. The songs included tracks like the title song of the â€™98 movie- Kuch Kuch Hota Hai!
The ceremonies for the flag-off then started. Speeches by various guests, including Ambassador of India to ASEAN and Indonesia- Ambassador Gurjit Singh, highlighted the significance of the event- inspiring trust, stronger bonds, progressive relations and unity. To signify the eminence of countries coming together, a tree-planting ceremony was held, with the representatives of the different countries planting a sapling on this Indonesian heritage site- a mark of growth and respect for the Indonesian culture. Like these trees, we believe that the new relationships formed between countries will grow strong. Present among the guests were CII President, Mr Adi Godrej and Director General Mr Chandrajit Bannerjee.
As a memento to Indian culture, the bust of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore- Indian poet, writer and Nobel laureate, was unveiled. The poet had, during his travels to Indonesia, written an ode to Indonesian culture and singled out the Borobudur temple in his writings.
The convoy set off from this event to Surakarta, at the end of Day 1. Another pleasant event awaited them, including music and dance, using several unique instruments that were native to Indonesia. It was after dinner that we finally retired to our rooms.
The AICR has started, and we love the enthusiasm!
Tuesday, November 27, 2012- Day 2
After leaving the hotel rooms and making it to the airport at 7 am, weâ€™re all set to fly off to Singapore for the Singapore leg of the AICR. The briefing for the day will be held at 5, at the hotel, and weâ€™ll be visiting the F1 pit-lane! Sounds exciting, right?
Hereâ€™s something weâ€™d like you to tell us- what is the significance of the Borobudur temple in Indonesian culture? And can you please share the names of various local or native instruments of Indonesia?
To Malaysia, With Love.
Posted on November 29, 2012 by ASEAN India Team
The sensation of crossing a border during a rally is overwhelming.
Our phase through Malaysia came to an end as we were given a grand farewell. With a dose of culture that we have received, we canâ€™t help but feel a little nostalgic about our time here. From Puttrajaya (where the rain gods welcomed us), where we were flagged off from, to our arrival at Ipoh, the refilling of fuel which was also a renewal of enthusiasm, to our arrival at Bukit Kayn Hitam border for the last few hours- even though Malaysia passed us in rushes of colour, we undeniably enjoyed it. The taste of Malaysian food will not leave our taste buds and neither will the sound of native Malaysian music.
The farewell from this beautiful country and the flag-off made sure that we left with a smile on our faces. With thousands of miles to cover, it takes optimism, shared by the entire ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012 team to bring out the drive and passion for the journey!
The frenzy of the AICR in the past couple of days hasnâ€™t let us delve into details of the Singaporean and Malaysian experience. But weâ€™ll share them with you soon. Every country is an experience of its own, and weâ€™d like to share all of ours with you!
As we leave Malaysian soil and enter Thailand, itâ€™s a burst of excitement that we feel, along with the knowledge that Malaysia is always ready to welcome us back. That is, after all, what the rally is about- opening new vistas for countries of ASEAN and India.
Thailand, here we come!
P.S.: If you spot a 31-car convoy pass your locality, do wave out to us on our blog!
Singapore to Malaysia to Thailand- The Adrenaline Drive!
Posted on November 29, 2012 by ASEAN India Team
Two days of relentless travel and that too with a convoy of super SUVs does leave a team exhausted physically, but the zing of the journey, that is the ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012 tells you how to keep your spirits high!
To start with, we have, in the past couple of days, breathed in the air from 3 countries. You read right, THREE countries! From Singapore to Malaysia to Thailand tonight, the journey so far has been a frenzy of cars, roads, cultures, cuisines, music! Who will believe we have completed only 4 days of a journey of26? Hereâ€™s more about our extensive travel, so far:
Short and sweet was a term probably coined by someone who, like us, passed through the entire experience of the country of Singapore in less than a day. When we landed on the night of the 27th, we were welcomed by a formal dinner, press conference and a participant brief. The journey had been enjoyable yet tiresome, so we retired for bed soon. After all, we had a long way to go the next day.
The 28th dawned brightly on us. All prepared for the ride, we set off to the destination of our next flag-off. The streets had children and adults waving at us with flags in their hands and smiles on their faces, which made us all feel great about our purpose. Music followed us here as well, with children playing drums jovially, as we drove off. Known for the Merlion and the Petronas towers, this country (or very, very large city) was a beautiful ride.
The 31 Mahindra XUV 500s were to be flagged off from the SingTel Formula One pit in Singapore. Unbelievable, right? We couldnâ€™t believe it ourselves as we drove to the pit. The clean air and the well-maintained roads made for a great drive, and as we entered the venue, confetti and more celebration welcomed us! The F1 pit had been set up especially for us, and it sure made us feel special!
As the convoy settled down, the stage set up for the ceremonial speeches and for the comfort of the dignitaries was abuzz with activity. Speeches by officials, emphasising on the significance of our arrival that day and good wishes, were bestowed upon us here as well. It was then that we were finally ready to leave Singaporean soil, after the short stay. The cars stood at the starting line of the F1 pit, ready for their next adventurous ride!
A brief drive later, we finally arrived at Malaysia. Touted as â€˜Truly Asiaâ€™, we were left astounded by the beauty of the country.
Our first stop was at Pattrajaya, venue of the Parliament. The rain gods showered their blessings on us, dampening the weather, but only brightening our spirits! The Parliamentary building took our breath away. We were officially welcomed with much ceremony and with a cultural programme. Beautiful Malaysian women and elegant men performed for us and we felt like royalty. Music kept our feet tapping and the company was familiar by now. Drivers from each nationality were welcomed heartily. It is an inexplicable feeling, to be carrying the flag of your country to other lands and holding it high!
We then had to leave for our next stop at Ipoh, almost 700 kilometres away. As we drove, our mouths were wide open in wonder- every building around us was surreally beautiful. The rally passed by a mosque that was absolutely stunning. Countries of the world have so many architectural wonders to offer for visitors!
We finally reached Ipoh at 10.30pm. The tired drivers and ASEAN-India crew simply made for the hotel rooms, and slept their exhaustion away. The next day, that is Nov 29, we had to check out as early as 6.30 AM. Needless to say, we were all up for the challenge!
A formal breakfast in the morning, followed by speeches and glad tidings, wishing us the best for our travels, started our day. The 31 Mahindra XUV 500s looked as good as new, and with the kind of high that only those on the rally can relate to, we made off for our next destination. This was to be our last flag off in Malaysia- the country of beautiful sights!
Our next stop was at the magnificent Kullu Malai caves, which were inside a lone-standing monolithic structure, and had a temple outside. Itâ€™s stunning how much an Islamic country like Malaysia has in common with Indian mythology and beliefs. The idols and the depictions in art proved that to us.
We then left Malaysian soils for Thailand.
Thailand welcomed us quicker than we anticipated it to. As we entered from the Songkla border, we arrived at the venue, where colourfully dressed Thai nationals were waiting to serenade us with native flowers and music.
The day shall end with a formal welcome dinner, and welcome by Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior with the Governor of Songkla, at the Convention Centre. We look forward to this as well.
Hundreds of kilometres behind us, and thousands more to travel, the ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012 is just only started! We look forward to tomorrow, as the convoy will drive through the tourist city of Phuket, and the day after, at Chumphon.
Itâ€™s been a long two days, but when the travel bug bites you- no distance is too far!
ASEAN-India Car Rally - The Journey - YouTube
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