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CULTURAL KALEIDOSCOPE

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India in Bahrain Festival, a showcase of India’s vibrant diversity

By Raji Unnikrishnan

The Indian Embassy premise in Seef was abuzz with vibrant colours, rhythmic beats, and tantalizing aromas as the “India in Bahrain Festival” unfolded, offering a captivating celebration of India’s rich cultural heritage.

The flagship event of the mission brought together the Indian diaspora and provided a dynamic platform to showcase the diverse traditions and customs of different regions and communities in India.

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The festival, a testament to the enduring cultural bonds between India and Bahrain, featured an array of cultural programmes that highlighted the multifaceted diversity of India’s culture, art, cuisine, and handicrafts. From traditional dances to culinary delights, the festival provided a kaleidoscopic view of India’s rich fabric.

Capital Governorate Information and Follow-Up Director Yusuf Lori and Bahraini MP Mariyam Al Dhein graced the occasion as chief guests, emphasising the significance of cultural exchange and collaboration between India and Bahrain.

“The India in Bahrain Festival is a wonderful platform for cultural exchange, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of India’s rich heritage within the vibrant cultural landscape of Bahrain,” Mr Lori told Bahrain This Week.

MP Al Dhein, who was on her debut visit to the Indian Embassy, did not refrain from expressing her excitement at the colourful milieu of the festival.
“I am truly honoured to be a part of the India in Bahrain Festival, and it’s been a delight to experience the richness of Indian culture,” she said.
“This event has beautifully showcased the deep-rooted cultural connections between India and Bahrain, and I look forward to further strengthening these ties.”

The festival also saw enthusiastic participation from various Indian community groups, each showcasing the unique cultural essence of their respective regions. The Indian Ladies Association (ILA) team presented a delectable array of cuisines from East Indian states, while Annai Tamil Mantram, Maharashtra Cultural Society, Telugu Kala Samiti, Dawoodi Bohra Community, Rajastanis in Bahrain, Palakkad Pravasi Association, Punjabi Virsa, Art of Living, Amy Gujrati, and Odiya Samaj contributed to the festival’s diverse cultural mosaic.

Participants and community leaders shared their enthusiasm for the event.

“We are thrilled to showcase the culinary delights from the Eastern Indian states, offering a flavourful journey through the diverse cuisines of Bihar – Litti Chokha and Dahi Vada, Assam – Ghugni and West Bengal – Mishti Doi,” said ILA President Sarada Ajith.

Maharashtra Cultural Society President Umesh Sonarikar proudly presented the iconic Vada Pav, hailed as the king of Indian street food, while Rajastanis in Bahrain shared the significance of their traditional dish, Dal Bati Churma. Palakkad Pravasi Association featured their signature traditional sweet dishes from the state of Kerala alongside the other associations.

Cultural performances added to the festive atmosphere, featuring traditional Kaikottikali by men from Voice of Thiruvananthapuram, a fashion show of Indian traditional wear by Pravasi Legal Cell, and captivating displays of Indian Bharatanatyam and folk dances.

Indian Embassy Second Secretary Ihjas Ahmed addressed the audience, expressing his delight at the festival’s success in fostering cultural exchange and strengthening the bonds between India and Bahrain. Community leaders and hundreds of attendees gathered to partake in the festivities, further enriching the cultural exchange and camaraderie that characterised the festival.

The event served as a joyous celebration of India’s cultural heritage, uniting the Indian diaspora and the Bahraini community in a colourful tapestry of traditions, flavours, and performances. The “India in Bahrain Festival” not only showcased the richness of Indian culture but also served as a bridge for cultural understanding and appreciation, nurturing a deeper connection between India and Bahrain.

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