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इंडियन आवाज़     27 Nov 2022 06:57:06      انڈین آواز

‘SARANG – Festival of India in Republic of Korea’ enthralls art, music lovers in South Korea

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AMN / WEB DESK

Indian Embassy in Seoul, South Korea organized annual flagship cultural program ‘SARANG – The Festival of India in Republic of Korea’ which enthralled the South Korean art and music lovers with a fusion of Indian and Korean dance and music in a grand spectacle running over two weeks. After a two-year COVID hiatus, South Korean audiences enjoyed captivating performances by Indian and Korean musicians, dancers and artists at the 8th edition of the festival which was held from 30 Sept. – 14 Oct. 2022 at various locations across the country.

Through this festival, the rich cultural diversity of India is showcased through various art forms including dance, drama, music, films and cuisine to the people of Korea to promote understanding and friendship among the peoples of the two countries.

The festival which attracted huge and enthusiastic crowd of India lovers, began on September 30 with a curtain raiser at the historical Hwaeom-sa Temple which hosted the Indian Classical Music and Odissi Dance performance. The Cultural performances were also held at Gimhae (Oct 1), Busan (Oct 2), Seoul (Oct 4-5), Cheongju (Oct 6), Yeongdong (Oct 7), Nami Island (Oct 8-9) and Incheon (Oct 13-14).

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The celebrations this year were organised as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ to mark 75 years of India’s independence. To mark this momentous occasion, a series of events were organised including cultural performances, workshops; art fairs and cultural booths; games and hands on experience etc. with several local Korean partner Institutions and the Indian Diaspora in South Korea. There was also a special focus on relevant themes to the India-Republic of Korea partnership.

The word SARANG has a very meaningful connotation for both Koreans and Indians. SARANG in Korean means ‘love’ and for Indians it refers to ‘diversity representing different colours of India’. Since its inception in 2015, SARANG festival has emerged as a prominent Indian cultural festival, introducing India’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. Since then, it has grown in size, scope and popularity showcasing its rich civilizational legacy and cultural vibrancy. SARANG has now become a much looked forward event in the Korean cultural calendar.

Usually, it extends for over a month and travels through different cities of Republic of Korea.
This year, the cultural performances in different cities of Republic of Korea featured an Odissi classical dance performance by a troupe led by Ms. Kunjalata Mishra, an accomplished Odissi dancer and recipient of prestigious Braj Ratna and Braj Gaurav Samman. The musical rendition was led by renowned vocalist Ms. Sunanda Sharma of Benaras Gharana, accompanied by leading musicians on traditional Indian music instruments such as the Tabla, Harmonium, Sarangi and Tanpura.

In addition, the cultural ensemble in Seoul (Oct 4) also featured a medley of Indo-Korean fusion music by Aram Lee on daegeum (Flute) and percussionist Min Wang Hwang on Janggu (traditional Korean drum) performing with the Hindustani Classical music group led by vocalist Sunanda Sharma and her accompanying artists. A fusion of Indian Classical dances – Odissi and Kathak was also presented by Korean dancer Ms. Beena Keum, who was trained under the great Odissi Master Guru Gangadhar Pradhan and Indian Kathak dancer Ms. Sonali Roy, a disciple of legendary Padma Vibhushan Pandit Birju Maharaj.

Besides the cultural performances, a special photo exhibition on India’s Humanitarian Assistance during the Korean War which included the deployment of an Army Medical Unit, and the Custodian Force of India was also organized at the Nami Island recognizing the special contributions of India towards restoration of peace in the Korean Peninsula.

All events were open to public and live streamed on Indian Culture Centre’s social media handle. The cultural performances and Indian booths exhibiting diversity of Indian cultural heritage received wide appreciation from the local community in Republic of Korea.

In addition to the cultural performances, SARANG Festival will also bring some of the award winning and critically acclaimed popular movies under the Film Festival to be hosted in November and December followed by a Food Festival in January 2023.

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