TODAY -

Meghalaya to host NE festival
Source: The Sangai Express / Press Trust of India

New Delhi, April 09 2015 : In a bid to bring North-eastern India closer to the rest of the country, a day-long Northeast festival, featuring food, costumes, music and dance among other features is being organised at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on April 11 here.

Hosted by the Meghalaya government and sponsored by the North East Council, the festival titled "Songs and Dances of the North-East" is scheduled to be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee, organisers said here today.

Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya along with members of North East Council and other dignitaries will also be present at the occasion .

"The purpose of the festival is to connect the unique way of life of North eastern people with the rest of the country," M War Nongbri, Director Art and Culture, Meghalaya government said.

Failing to encompass the vast North-East culture in a day's time, Nongbri said, they settled to focus on the music and dances of the region in this first edition of the festival.

"North East is known for its diverse music, richness of cultures, colours of traditions and the sweet melodies of folklores," Nongbri said.

Both budding and eminent bands and artistes from across the eight states will showcase their rich, vibrant, cultural ethnicity and diversity through an array of music and dance performances.

Among the popular names are bands like Shillong Chamber Choir (Meghalaya), Imphal talkies (Aizawl), Tetseo Sisters (Nagaland) and the acclaimed "Indian Idol" winner Amit Paul.

Extending a warm welcome to the rest of India to visit Nort-East, Nongri said they hope that the festival will also act as a catalyst to take up important issues associated with the region.

Besides the cultural performances, for a hands-on experience from the region, free sessions of indigenous dance forms from the North-East will also be on offer.

"There will also be a stall where people can pull on the native costumes of the different states from the region and get photographs clicked.

They can try being a North-Easterner for a day," Nongri said.

About 20 stalls will showcase the cuisines from across the region to provide the visitors a taste of North-East.

"There will be three to five stalls from each state displaying food that North-Easterners have on a daily basis as well as those that are prepared on special occasions," Nongri said.

Owing to the exotic variety of flowers that adorn North east India throughout the year, a floriculture stall will also be present for the visitors to admire along with a tourist counter that will cater to all travel enquiries associated with the region.

Based on the response that the festival will receive this edition, Nongri said, the North Eastern Council has been mulling over making it an annual affair, with the subsequent editions being hosted by each of the states from the region.

"Also, we would want to consider if it should be taken to other parts of the country besides the capital," she added.

The festival which will begin at 12 noon, will continue till 9:30 PM with performances by 132 dancers and 26 bands from across the region.


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