New Delhi, November 22: A four-day festival showcasing art, culture, cuisine, handicrafts and handlooms of the Northeastern region will be held for the first time in Varanasi.
Union minister Jitendra Singh said the ‘Destination North East’ festival, which will begin in the temple town of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, will exhibit the striking similarities between the Ganga and Brahmaputra basins in terms of ancient culture, diverse handlooms and silk products, spiritual heritage and vibrant tourist hubs.
“The idea of organising such an event is to bring the rest of India closer to the Northeast and to have experience of rich culture of the region,” Singh told reporters in New Delhi.
The Union minister for development of the northeastern region (DoNER) said all-round progress of the Northeast was the priority of the central government ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge five years ago.
Varanasi is the Lok Sabha constituency of Modi.
All eight Northeastern states will participate the event, to be held at the IIT (BHU) ground, to display their handicrafts, handloom, organic products and cultural troupes.
During the festival, the visitors will have live experience of the artisans and artistes from the Northeast working on their looms and crafts, performing their songs and dances in the open stage.
Indigenous games will also be performed where visitors can also participate. Live kitchens with recipes from the Northeast and Uttar Pradesh will be serving delicacies throughout the festival, organised by the Ministry of DoNER.
According to Singh, music is the soul of the Northeast and the festival will have megastars from the regions as well as other parts of the country lending their voices and talents to the events.
Renowned band ‘Shillong Chamber Choir’, singers Papon, Sourabhee Debbarma, Borkung Hrangkhawl and Rekha Bhardwaj are some of the lending voices who are likely to perform, while several actors from Bollywood is also expected to attend it.
Given the importance of the Northeast vis-a-vis organic products, food processing, tourism, water development and seminars will be held every morning during the festival with participation of experts in the respective fields.
The minister said a separate bamboo pavilion would be part of the ‘Destination North East’ festival.
Singh, who will inaugurate the festival, informed that a business-to-business session had also been scheduled on one of the days for the business communities to explore opportunities in the northeastern states.
The DoNER minister launched the theme song of the festival here on Thursday.
The previous editions of ‘Destination North East’ were held in Delhi and Chandigarh. (PTI)