Sydney, September 19: The 10-week "Festival of India" started with an aim to showcase the country's rich and diverse culture. The festival being the first Indian music and dance festival in Sydney was inaugurated by Union Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma. The night witnessed spectacular joint performances by Indian and Australian artists.
"It is the first of its kind festival and it is the matter of pride for all of us today. From the glimpses you can make out what could be the strengths of this festival. It includes some of the finest elements on the tapestry of the rich Indian culture and civilization. It's our hope this festival will promote better understanding of Indian culture among different communities living here”, said Sharma.
The festival, an initiative of Indian government supported by the Australian side, will run across seven cities including Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide. A gala reception was organized by NSW government. NSW minister for ageing and disability John Ajaka said, “"The event is expected to be an event of quality which will surpass the expectations of the Prime Minister as well."
The event will have the Indian cultural art forms such as Manipuri drummers, Sufi singing artist Sonam Kalra, odissi, Kathak and Bharatnatyam dancers, Australian musicians and aboriginal dancers. Indian high commissioner Navdeep Suri, Indian consul general of Sydney and Melbourne also attended the function.