Surajkund International Crafts Mela inaugurated

Surajkund International Crafts Mela inaugurated

Surajkund (Haryana), March 20, 2022

The 35th Surajkund International Crafts Mela was inaugurated by Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatraya and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to showcase the richness and diversity of handicrafts, handlooms and the cultural heritage of India and other participating countries.

Dattatraya, in his address, pointed out the importance of art and crafts in the development of civilization and culture.

The Crafts Mela allows artisans from India and as well as participating countries to present the rich legacy of arts and crafts of their respective countries.

Manohar Lal stated said the crafts fair helped thousands of craftspersons from across India to showcase their arts and products to a wider audience and helped in reviving the heritage crafts. This year’s mela is special as it coincided with Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh said the annaul mela was not held last year due to the COVID-19 panndemic.

Haryana Principal Secretary (Tourism) MD Sinha said the mela, spread over 43.5 acres, has 1,183 work huts for craftspersons and a multi-cuisine food court that is popular with visitors. The fair will display ethnic vibes with motifs and decorations such as Mahua, Nargis, Panchjanya along with the 75 years of independence theme with replicas of independence medals, tri-coloured buntings and commemorative stamps.

The Surajkund Crafts Mela was hosted for the first time in 1987. It is organised jointly by the Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture, External Affairs.

Online tickets are available through portals like Paytm Insider to help visitors enter the fair premises without the hassles of long queues. Special buses will run from various points to carry visitors from the surrounding areas.

Jammu & Kashmir is the Theme State of this year's fair to showcase its unique culture and rich heritage through various art forms and handicrafts from the region. Hundreds of artistes from Jammu & Kashmir will be performing different folk arts and dances. Replicas of the Vaishno Devi temple, Amar Nath hill shrine and Apna Ghar representing Kashmiri architecture, live demonstration of house boat and commemorative gate "Mubarak Mandi Jammu" will be the main attractions.

The Surajkund Crafts Mela was upgraded to an international level in 2013. In 2020, more than 30 countries from Europe, Africa and Asia participated in the fair. This year, more than 30 countries will be a part of the event, which includes the partner nation, Uzbekistan.

Others include the Latin American countries, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Namibia, Sudan, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Angola, Ghana, Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Iran and the Maldives.

Performances will be presented during the day by folk artistes from India and abroad. These include Bhangra from Punjab, Bihu from Assam, Barsana ki Holi, Lok Niritya From Haryana, Jamakda from Himachal Pradesh, Lavni from Maharashtra besides live demonstration of Hath Ki Chakki and the popular Behrupiya at the Chaupal.

The evening cultural performances from 7.00 pm onwards include bands like Rehmat-e-Nusrat, ghazals by Rinku Kalia, enthralling dance performances, soulful Sufi performances and Rhythms of India by Maati Baani. Apart from artistes from J & K, there will be foot-tapping dance & song shows by performers from Uzbekistan and other countries.

For the duration of the fair, a selected family from Haryana will be staying in the specially-created "Apna Ghar’ to showcase the authentic lifestyle of the people in the state. Apna Ghar gives a chance to the visitors to interact with the family and learn about their culture. It will showcase traditional earthenware and utensils with craftsmen giving live demonstrations.

Both Chaupals (amphitheatres) have been given a new look inspired by the elements of the participating state and partner nation to make the performances come alive for the audience along with the use of traditional props. The Mela is open from March 19 to April 4, daily from 12.30 pm-9.30 pm.


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