By THE NATION
A truly exotic taste of India comes to Bangkok this weekend as CentralWorld plays host to the firstever “Northeast Festival of India” on Saturday and Sunday.
Visitors can also enjoy a performance of the traditional Naga dance.
The Northeast region of India is made up of seven exotic and culturally rich states, namely Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura and some of the tribes that live in the area speak the Tai language, a close relation to Thai, as Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was delighted to discover when she visited this region some years back.
A troupe performs the Bihu dance.
These Northeastern states which have close geographical proximity to Thailand, have become a gateway to Southeast Asia, and are today at the forefront of India’s ‘Act East’ policy.
“I am delighted that the first-ever Northeast India Festival outside of India is coming to Bangkok,” says the newly arrived Indian Ambassador to Thailand, Suchitra Durai.
The Featherheads are among the bands playing at the festival.
“The region has much to offer – breathtaking landscapes, topclass human resources and a rich and diverse cultural heritage. We invite Thais to savour this distinct region of Incredible India.”
In order to introduce the riches of this region to the Land of Smiles, the Embassy of India, in collaboration with various partners has organised a mega festival covering a large and exciting range of activities.
They include seminars and discussions on bilateral trade and investment, education, tourism, with important participants from both countries, among them academics, historians, entrepreneurs, tour operators, and high-level officials from the Government of India, the State Governments of Northeast India, and the Thai Government.
Vocalist Zubeen Garg
These meetings will be held at the Lotus Suite, Centara Grand Hotel, on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The afternoons, meanwhile, will be filled with exhibitions, and a range of music and dance performances in the mall’s zones A and B.
The seven states, often referred to as the “Seven Sisters”, have a rich and varied range of folk traditions, and these will be in full display through colourful and charismatic folk-dance forms, like the Naga, Manipuri, Bodo, Bihu, Bagrumba, Assamese and other dances.
What makes the Northeast region unique is the diverse range of communities and religions, which have spawned a wide range of music genres including pop, rock and rap. Fans will get to hear concerts by top rock bands The Chronicles and The Featherheads at the festival as well as performances by singers like Rahul Rajkhowa and Zubeen Garg, and a set by DJ Teri Miko.
Fashion too gets a look in with shows by well-known designers Atsu Sekhose and Arita Kashyap among others.
Shoppers can enjoy an exhibition and sale of rich and varied textiles, arts and crafts including handlooms, cane and bamboo as well as fresh fruits, organic vegetables and Assam’s famed teas
Last, but very far from least, is the food. The festival offers a rare chance to taste the varied and vibrant cuisines of these seven Northeast Indian states, which will be available on both evenings at Central World.
Admission to all events is free. Find out more at http://NortheastFestival.com/#schedule or Facebook.com/IndianEmbassyThailand/