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Cultural diversity of India comes under one roof at Delhi festival

Henna Rakheja, New Delhi: How do you explore India within the next 10 days? You head to the second edition

of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav, that’s how. Cultural performances, handicraft, food — you can experience everything that is a reflection of what that Indian state is all about .
Organised by Ministry of Culture to encourage youngsters to experience India, the event will have more than 150 cultural performances by 400 artists from different parts of the country. The performances are divided in four segments. “Dances which are performed for rituals, harvest, festivals and those which use martial art forms are the basis on which the performances are divided,” says Maitreyee Pahari, festival choreographer. She adds that there will also be some rare performances by artists. “These include three aerial acts. In one of these, a Delhi girl will go as high as 25 feet,” she adds.One can also look out for traditional performers of fringe-folk arts such as Behroopiyas, Baazigars and Kacchi Ghori. There will also be 10 nukkad naataks (street plays) conceived on socio-cultural messages, which will be organised all over Delhi. There will also be a Shilp Haat – where handicrafts created by artists from pan-India will be exhibited.“It’s a unique opportunity for our youth to experience India,” says Gaurav Bansal, festival director. His statement sounds apt considering the scale of the festival. “The stage set up this time is much bigger than last year. And our overriding theme is Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, but we will also focus on the theme of Swachh Bharat,” he adds .This year, there will be two photo exhibitions running parallel to the cultural performances. One will be on vandalism and the other on Simhastha Kumbh Mela that was recently held in Ujjain. Bansal says, “The exhibition on vandalism is important in today’s time because vandalism, which causes irreparable damage and loss to the places of historical and national importance should draw the public’s attention.”
Food Culture:
In addition to all this, visitors can sample regional cuisines at 35 stalls. From Lucknow ke makhkhan malai to Kashmir ka Kahwa, there’s a lot to choose from. “There will be many types of jalebi and biryani which prove the rich food culture of our country,” says Bansal.
What: Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav 2016
Where: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, 1 Janpath
When: October 15 to 23
Timings: 10am to 10pm
Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat on Yellow Line

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