14 Feb 2014

Festival of India Inaugurated in Vientianne, Lao PDR

Government of India
A three-day Festival of India in Lao Peoples Democratic Republic was today inaugurated by the Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism, Government of Lao PDR Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara and Secretary Culture, Government of India, Shri Ravindra Singh in the capital city of Vientiane at the National Cultural Hall. 

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Culture Shri Ravindra Singh said that the Festival of India in Lao PDR would enhance people to people contact, increase India’s cultural ties with the South East Asian Countries and deepen the historical bonds.

 He thanked the Lao Authorities for contributing towards the development of the Nalanda University. 

The Festival would comprise of a Ramayana Dance Festival performed by Kalakshetra Foundation, a Buddha Mahotsava consisting of an Exhibition called Dhamma Darsana by the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara and Central Institute of Himalayan Cultural Centre.

 A Food Festival conducted by the Ministry of Tourism and a Film Festival conducted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 

The Festival of India also has a component of Yoga and Mehendi. The South Zone Cultural Centre is the nodal agency for conducting the event. 

Buddhist monks from the Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies performed the Sand Mandala, Butter Sculpture, Lama Chanting and Monastic Dances before a capacity audience comprising of leading monks from the That Luang Stupa and dignitaries from the Laos Government. 

An Exhibition depicting the life and times of Buddha the Dhamma Darsana was also inaugurated along with the Buddh Mahotsava. 

The Dhamma Darsana received wide response as hundreds of Laon People witnessed the digitized prints depicting the life and times of Buddha at Lumbini, Kushinagar, Ajanta, Sarnath, Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, Nagarjuna Konda and Sanchi. 

The Kalakshetra Foundation performed the first and second episodes of Jatayu Moksham and Choodamani Pradanam before capacity crowds in the National Culture Hall. 

Official level delegation talks were also held on a wide range of subjects between the two countries. The Indian side was led by the Secretary, Culture Shri Ravindra Singh while the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith led the delegation of Lao PDR. 

Indian Ambassador to Lao PDR Shri Gururaja Rao said that the talks were cordial and constructive and India and Laos would seek to sign the Cultural Exchange Program in the coming days as also enhance people to people contact efforts. 

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