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Mr Berinder Singh (left), India High Commissioner in Accra, interacting with Ms Mary Mensah (right), Staff Writer of the Daily Graphic after the press conference in Accra. Looking on is Mr Manish Nambiar, General Manager of Kempinski hotel. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Mr Berinder Singh (left), India High Commissioner in Accra, interacting with Ms Mary Mensah (right), Staff Writer of the Daily Graphic after the press conference in Accra. Looking on is Mr Manish Nambiar, General Manager of Kempinski hotel. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

Festival of India to be held in Ghana

The Indian High Commission will hold a “Festival of India-Matri” from January 25 to March 15, 2017  to commemorate 60 years of a strong bond of friendship between India and Ghana.

The festival  will be held in collaboration with Ghana’s Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, as well as the governments of both countries.

The Indian High Commissioner, Mr Birender Singh, announced this at a press briefing held in Accra.

He said the festival to  be held  in Accra, Takoradi, Cape Coast, Kumasi and Koforidua would showcase multifaceted aspects of Indian culture in its various colours and forms.

According to him, similar festivals had already been held in Australia, Canada, France, Indonesia and Italy, among several other countries.

Friendship

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Mr Singh, who explained that “Matri” means friendship, noted that India-Ghana relations had traditionally been warm and friendly and the strong foundation of the bilateral relation was laid by the then Indian leadership and the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

He said the festival was an important aspect of cultural diplomacy aimed at strengthening bilateral cultural relations with a focus to connect and enhance the perception of India in the minds of Ghanaians and offer them a glimpse of the flavour and variety of Indian culture.

The festival, he added, would have components of Indian classical and folk dances, sufi music, Indian food festival, Indian film festival and lecture, as well as a demonstration of Yoga.

Festival launch

The High Commissioner indicated that the festival would be officially launched on the eve of the 68th Republic Day celebration of India on January 25, 2017 at the National Theatre of Ghana.

He said a renowned Indian cultural group, the LokChahhanda Cultural Unit, led by Ms Maitreyee Pahari would perform “Samanvay”, an amalgamation of different Indian classical and traditional dance forms at the Centre of National Culture in the selected regions.

According to him, the food festival was being organised in collaboration with the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City from February 10-16, 2017 and would have Sufi and folksong recital by Dr Mamata Joshi.

Mr Singh said the film festival would be held at Indian House where three Bollywood films would be shown. That, he said, would be by invitation only.

Democracy

The High Commissioner lauded Ghana for the smooth transition of power in the country, which he said had once again demonstrated Ghana’s impeccable credentials as a stable and strong democracy not only in West Africa but the entire African continent.

He said India, the world’s largest democracy, saluted and appreciated the good people of Ghana for the successful conduct of the 2016 general elections.

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