During June 5 – 9, Bucharest will host the seventh edition of the Indian culture festival “Namaste India”, an event organized under the high patronage of the Indian Embassy to Romania by the “Rabindranath Tagore” Cultural Centre.
The perfume of India will overwhelm the city these days and will fascinate the Romanian audience due to a series of events destined to promote the diverse and polymorph culture specific to this country.
This year, the festival will include classical Indian dance shows, traditional music performances, travel stories, encounters with Indian literature, exhibitions of paintings and photography, a handmade products fair, crafts workshops for children and grown-ups and, obviously, tasting of Indian cuisine.
During June 5 – 7, the festival will take place at the “Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum and during June 8 – 9, the events will be hosted by the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant. The entrance to the events is free. At the National Village Museum, at the opening of this year’s edition, a traditional Indian ceremony of planting a tree will be held, as a symbol of Romania’s friendship with India. The event will be attended by the Indian Ambassador to Romania, Her Excellence Manimekalai Murugesan, members of the Indian Embassy to Bucharest, Paula Popoiu – manager of the Village Museum, other important partners of the festival and Indian culture enthusiasts. The ceremony follows the tradition initiated at Shantiniketan (India) by Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore and will be hosted by Kaberi Chatterjee, Doctor in Philosophy.
“By the performances organized during the time of the festival, we invite the Romanian audience to discover the beauty and elegance of Indian music and dance, both classic and contemporary ones. Parvathy Baul brings to the Village Museum the mystic music of Bengali minstrels, part of the Bauls’ popular tradition in Western Bengal and Bangladesh. Appreciated for the solo performance of Baul songs and dances, Parvathy Baul masterfully accompanies her voice with traditional folklore instruments Duggie, Ektara and Nupur”, organizers mentioned.
The Kathak classical Indian dance will be performed on stage by Namrta Rai, emeritus artist and professor of the Indian Cultural Institute in New Delhi.
Also, the Village Museum hosts during the festival a fair of Indian handmade products (Oriental clothes, accessories and jewelry, decorating objects and condiments), and delicious dishes from various regions of India.
The presentation of Rabindranath Tagore’s dance
On June 8, at the Peasant’s Museum, the Romanian audience will be granted an occasion to watch, in premiere, a demonstration of semi-classical dance style created by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, Rabindranath Tagore, internationally acclaimed as a poet and a philosopher. The show will be performed by Kaberi Chatterjee.
The program also includes shows performed by Romanian artists. On June 8, as well, the Horia Bernea Studio of MTR will present, starting at 6 PM, the cinema screening of the dance theatre play Chitrangada, in the presence of Indian director Obhi Chatterjee and of lead performer Kaberi Chatterjee. Inspired by the personality of heroine Chitrangada, mentioned in the great Indian epic Mahabharata, Rabindranath Tagore attributed her the countless emotions of the Indian woman and conferred a new dimension to the story, turning it into a dance theatre play in 1936.
On June 9, the Tancred Banateanu Hall of MTR will host, starting at 6 PM, Parvathy Baul and her special guest, maestro Grigore Lese, performing at the Romanian Peasant’s Museum a show in the mystic tradition of Bauls, entitled “Seeking the Man inside the Heart.” The music of Bauls (a popular and mystic tradition of Western Bengal and Bangladesh) was included by UNESCO in the list of Masterpieces of Oral and Immaterial Patrimony of Humanity in 2005.
“We also bring India closer by granting meetings with travelers and tourism agencies, multimedia presentations and photography exhibitions that visually present less known aspects of Indian culture. We thus provide the audience an occasion to contact people who have traveled to India and who, after returning home, revealed on paper or on the Internet their impressions and experiences in this land of fascination and contrasts”, the press release also shows.
In order to have a full picture on India’s cultural diversity, throughout the festival, there will be exhibitions of paintings and photographs, book launches and creation workshops for adults and children (mandale, mehndi, Indian gastronomy), introductive lessons in Hindi and Sanskrit languages, traditional yoga classes and presentations about modern India.
The project “Namaste India”, started in 2010, has the purpose to cut cultural distance between two different societies, to discover common values and to create a symbolic space of friendship between Romania and India, thus contributing to the social and cultural integration of the members of Indian community in Romania. The complete program of the festival may be found on www.namasteindia.ro.