The Embassy of India organized the 2nd edition of ‘Ganga-Danube: Cultural Festival of India’ and 3rd International Day of Yoga in 15 cities and towns in Hungary this past week-end. All programs were open to the public, free of charge.
The festival was formally
inaugurated at a glittering ceremony jointly by Péter Cseresznyés, Hungarian
Minister of State for Labor Affairs (and President of the Parliamentary
Friendship Group with India) and Ambassador of India Rahul Chhabra at the
prestigious Urania Theater in Budapest.
A glimpse of Indian culture was showcased through Indian classical and
folk dances. The performances were highly acclaimed by the over 350 people
present. The winners of online yoga quiz and essay competition were also felicitated
on this occasion.
Programs included several
cultural performances, yoga practices, yoga workshops, Indian folk art Henna,
food festival and screening of Bollywood movies throughout Hungary all open to
the public, free of charge, in the open, in public squares to ensure maximum
public participation and audience.
For the first time ever, on
the International Day of Yoga, the historic and iconic symbol of Budapest,
Chain Bridge was lit up with India colors and motifs throughout the night of June
21. It carried animated symbols of IDY and Ganga-Danube Festival.
The Festival kickstarted
global celebrations of 70th anniversary of India’s independence by Ministry of
Culture. In Szentendre, a historic city on the banks of River Danube, a
ceremony of mixing the waters of Ganga and Danube were performed, symbolizing
the confluence of two cultures. During the ceremony, Ganga Sutra and
Ganga-Danube Aarti were performed along with Shanti mantra.
As curtain raiser to the
event, yoga flashmobs took place and in several towns, yoga was organized for
handicapped and blind children. Other salient features of the Festival included
a famous Hungarian actress, a singer of Indian origin and a media personality who
were appointed as our three brand ambassadors for International Day of Yoga. Five
Yoga teachers from India were sent by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations
for yoga demonstration and for organizing yoga workshops during the Festival. Quiz
and essay contest on yoga were organized online with the help of ‘Greycells’,
an Indian quiz company.
A total of five Indian troupes
consisting of 35 artists performed during the festival: Raasleela Troupe-folk;
Mohiniyattam dance troupe; Alaknanda Dasgupta group-Kathak; Ms. Baladevi
Chandrashekar-Bharatnatyam, dance and Mr. Debashish Ganguli, sitar. The Embassy
of India was also utilizing the services of 11 Hungarian groups consisting of
around 50 artists proficient in Indian classical dance and music for the 15
cities and towns. The local Indian community, particularly students, as
The Embassy also organized the
3rd International Day of Yoga in three cities of Bosnia & Herzegovina, i.e.
Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar from 17-18th June, 2017