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India: The melting pot of cultures

India: The melting pot of cultures
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A three-day cultural festival of traditional dances of South Asia was organised in the Capital by SAARC Cultural Centre (SCC) in Colombo that started off on 26 September in the Capital at the premises of Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Packed with a range of performing arts besides a workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage, the event at SNA’s Rabindra Bhavan complex also featured a photo exhibition tracing the history of cultural exchange between the countries of the region.

Inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, Shripad Yesso Naik, the evening welcomed SAARC delegates by a Kathakali performance and traditional Chenda Melam orchestra from Kerala along with the acrobatic Chhau dance form of the Purulia genre from West Bengal.

Presented under the aegis of Sangeet Natak Akademi which also crafted the programme, Nrityarupa brought out the essential charm and collaborative beauty of  Bharatanatyam, Kathakali (both from the south), Kathak (north and west), Odissi and Chhau (east) and Manipuri (northeast) before an august audience featuring ministers and diplomats among other dignitaries.

The day-long deliberations which also saw demonstration of three performing arts, the delegates also called for developing arts and crafts hubs besides heritage tourism spots across South Asia.

The session was capped by dance/music forms (10 minutes each) of all the eight member-countries of the 1985-formed SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). The two-hour programme on the second day saw the presentation of Mili Atan and Karsak recitals from Afghanistan, bottle dance and Jhoom from Bangaldesh, welcome songs of Bhutan, Manjushree dance and Bhairav Kali dance of Nepal and Kandyan dance from Sri Lanka besides Chhau dances (Seraikella and Purulia), Dhol Cholam (Manipur) and Kathakali (Kerala), from India.

The concluding session on Sunday evening was addressed by top SNA officials and saw distribution of certificates to the participants besides a closing cultural performance.
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