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Northeastern states stage a cultural festival

Agartala, Sat, 27 Feb 2010 ANI

Agartala, Feb 27(ANI): To promote closer ties among the Northeast states and with their neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, a month-long cultural festival 'Inter-Cultural Dialogue' is being staged and the second leg of it concluded in Agartala on Friday.


New Delhi-based the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) in association with North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) and the state governments is organizing the first ever-international cultural festival across the northeast region.


The festival began on February 21 in Guwahati, Assam and will wind up on March 12 covering Meghaylaya, Tripura, Manipur and Nagaland, followed by a four-day symposium-cum-cultural show in New Delhi from March 17 to March 20.


Around 150 artists and performers from Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and northeastern states are performing various traditional dances to showcase their area's traditional art and culture.


Other than traditional Thai dance and Indonesian dance depicting scenes from Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, the mask dance of Sikkim and traditional Indonesian Wayang Kulit (shadow puppet) were enjoyed very much by the audience, as they were totally new to them.


Audience, who were mesmerized by the programme, felt that academics and artists of these regions should collectively revisit their history, culture and economy and look at the commonalities, which still persist to a significant extent.


"I feel our culture, that is to say, ancient Indian culture specially the Aryan culture has been beautifully mixed in their chorography. They are also trying to expose their dance items, their choreography through Ramayana, Mahabharata. This is beautiful mixture of Indian culture and neighbouring countries," said Swapan Nandi, audience and renowned painter.


Participants from the Southeast Asian countries said they were happy participating in the event.


"We are happy to join this festival because here we can show our culture and learn other cultures like of India, Thailand, Cambodia and Java," said Chum Chanveasna, an artist from Cambodia.


The organisers said that the unique relationship in cultural-historical experiences of the people of Southeast Asian countries and northeast India has become a subject of genuine importance in he background of the overall drive for cultural, economic, political understanding and unity, and such cultural events help to bridge the gap and rediscover old ties between them. (ANI)


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