A slice of Kashmir in Chennai

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav different themes have been identified to celebrate the vision of new India. One of these themes is Cultural Pride. Under this theme, a special programme Vitasta – the ever flowing legacy of Kashmir is being organised by the Ministry of Culture. This festival will be celebrated in the spirit of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat and take the best of Kashmir to rest of states and amalgamate the rest of local culture into the local programme curation.

Held as a travelling show, the Vitasta Festival will be held in Tamil Nadu, Mahasrashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and Jammu and Kashmir. The first edition of the festival will be held from January 27 to 30, at Kalakshetra, and on January 29, at DakshinaChitra.

The programme will include choreographed dance presentations of the Kashmiri folk dance forms, folk symphony with Kashmiri folk musical instruments, a unique presentation of two folk theatre forms — Bhand Pather of Kashmir and Therukoothu of Tamil Nadu, recital by Santoor player music composer and conductor, Abhay Rustum Sopori, Kashmiri Sufi Band by Aabha Hanjura, Kashmiri cuisine fair, crafts fair with the handicrafts, needle work and weaves of Kashmir, workshops on pashmina wool weaving and papier mâché, seminars related to the Vitasta river and Kashmir including the impact of Buddhism and Shaivism, art camp for artists, an art competition for schoolchildren, a play, photography exhibition, Sharada Stotram by the students of Kalakshetra, a production on national integration based on a literary work by Subramania Bharathi by the students of Kalakshetra, and villu pattu on Vitasta.

Cultures of Kashmir

To celebrate Kashmir, the festival will cover areas like art, history, literature,music, folk traditions and food. It will take Kashmir across the country to introduce its many splendours to all Indians who have not had an opportunity to visit this magical land. It will also have Kashmir as one of the venues, for visitors to get a true cultural experience and for the locals to renew their pride in their culture and traditions. It’ll be celebrated in the spirit of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat and take the best of Kashmir to rest of states, amalgamating local culture into the programme.


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