Obama State Dinner Toasts

The President and First Lady hosted 400 people for their first State Dinner in honor of the Prime Minister of India and his wife. The guests were seated in a tent on the South Lawn and dined on arugula grown from the White House garden as well as other vegetarian dishes. The guest list was comprised of members of the Obama administration, Congress, and Washington and Hollywood elite. Females glided past in sari-like gowns. Michelle Obama wore a gown designed by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan.

The President welcomed his guests in India's national language, Hindi, by saying Aapka Suwagat Hai which means "you are all welcome." President Obama lifted a glass of water to toast Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying "tonight under the stars, we celebrate the spirit that will sustain our partnership, the bond of friendship between our people." The Prime Minister praised the President by saying Mr. Obama's journey to the White House had captivated his fellow countrymen. Prime Minister Singh also spoke of the relationship between the United States and his country, "we need to find new pathways of international cooperation that respond more effectively to the grave challenges caused by the growing interdependence of nations."

President Obama and his guests were entertained into the night by musical selections from singer Jennifer Hudson and "Slumdog Millionaire" composer A.R. Rahman as well as Indian dancers.