The mega cultural festival 'India by the Nile' got off to a colourful start at the foot of the Pyramids with a Crafts Mela, showcasing joint handicraft exhibition of India and Egypt.
"This is a special moment as this year we celebrate 70 years of our independence and also 70 years of our diplomatic relations with Egypt," India's Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya said during the opening on Wednesday.
"We are proud to present the India by the Nile Cultural festival (IBN) from Wednesday till 27 April in Cairo and several other cities. We have launched the first leg of the cultural festival -Crafts Mela," the Ambassador added.
The Embassy of India in Cairo, in collaboration with Teamwork Arts, presented 'Crafts Mela' as part of the IBN 2017 cultural festival.The festival, which is a celebration of Indian music, dance, theatre, visual arts, food and wellbeing, is the largest foreign festival in Egypt showcasing 70 events across the country.
During the opening, Bhattacharyya said that India and Egypt are ancient civilisations "with contacts across millennia.""The ties that bind the Nile and the Ganga, the Pyramids and Taj Mahal find expression in the affection shared between the two peoples and nurtures their vibrant partnership,"he said.
The Handicraft Exhibition which runs from 8-14 March, is an initiative to promote Indian and Egyptian handicrafts.It is organised by the Embassy of India in partnership with the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India; Export Promotion Council For Handicrafts (India), the Ministry of Social Solidarity (Egypt) and the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI).
Three days of the exhibition have been dedicated to joint handicraft of both the countries to "relive and recreate" the ancient civilisational ties."Our arts and crafts are central to our culture. Indian craftsmen have retained our cultural heritage while adapting to contemporary technology and usage.
They provide a link between the past and the future," Bhattacharyya said."This will be an opportunity for the craftsmen to demonstrate their expertise, share their experiences and relive our ancient ties as we create new markets for their products," he added.
The inaugural ceremony was attended by the Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani and other dignitaries.The artisans displayed their crafts at the Pyramids Light and Sound Theatre in Giza yesterday at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University, Zamalek and today at Misr Public Library in Zawya.
The exhibition will be displayed on March 11, at the Children's Civilisation & Creativity Centre in Heliopolis, on March 12 at the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture in Zamalek and on March 13, at the Manipuri Restaurant, Sofitel Cairo.