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Press Conference on Festival of India 04 January 2017

A Press Conference was held at Embassy of India in Phnom Penh on 4 January 2017 at 10.30 AM highlighting the upcoming Festival of India events in Cambodia. The Press Conference was jointly presided by HE Naveen Srivastava, Ambassador of India to Cambodia, H.E. Visothy So, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Tourism and H.E. Hab Touch, Director General, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. Representatives from leading Cambodian English & Khmer newspapers (The Cambodia Daily, Khmer Times, The Phnom Penh Post, , Kampuchea Thmey) as well as representatives from Cambodian Audio Visual Media (TVK National Television of Cambodia , PNN, SEA TV, Bayon TV, Hang Meas TV ) participated in the Press Conference. The leading online newspapers DAP Newspaper, Fresh News, Thmey Thmey and Sabay also made their representation. The Media was given detailed information by HE Ambassador about the various events of Festival of India. Representatives from Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts also reiterated their support to the event in their remarks. This was followed by Question and Answer session. The text of Press Release issued on the occasion by the Embassy is as under:

Press Release 04 January 2017

The Embassy of India in Phnom Penh and the Ministry of Culture, Government of India will host a Festival of India in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang during January-February 2017 to showcase the classical and folk dance forms of India, its varied cuisine and the cultural connections between India and Cambodia. The Festival of India is also being organized to mark the 25th Anniversary of India-ASEAN relations which are being celebrated this year.

The Festival of India includes:

(i)   Indian Epic Ramayana Classical Dance performance,
(ii)   Kathak Classical dance;
(iii)   Manganiar and Kalbelia Folk Dance from the State of Rajasthan;
(iv)   Buddhist Festival; and
(v)   Food Festival.

The opening ceremony of the Festival of India will be on 10 January 2017 (6.00 pm) at Chaktomuk Theatre with the Ramayana Classical Dance performance. The Ramayana is a great Indian epic with a universal message of victory of good over evil. Ramayana is also popular in Cambodia (as Ream Ke) and reflects the deep cultural bonds between our two countries. The performing troupe is the acclaimed Kalakshetra Foundation from Chennai and recognized worldwide for their impeccable technique and aesthetic.

They will be presenting different themes from various chapters of the Epic during their performances in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang. These include “Jatayu Moksham” and “Choodamani Pradanam”. The Ramayana performances will take place from 10-12 January (6.00 pm) at the Chaktomuk Theatre in Phnom Penh, 14-15 January (5.00 pm) in front of Bayon Temple in Siem Reap and on 16 January (5.00 pm) at the University of Battambang. The performance of Ramayana in Angkor complex is particularly symbolic.

The next cultural performance would be Manganiar and Kalbelia folk dance from the State of Rajasthan in India. They will perform in Phnom Penh (24-25 January (6.00 pm)) at the Chaktomuk Theatre and in Battambang on 26 January (5.00 pm) at the University of Battambang. Kalbelia dance is famous for the supple and graceful movements of its dancers. It has been inscribed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.

The final cultural performance will be Indian Classical Kathak Dance, which is one of the several traditional classical dances of India. Kathak is particularly popular in North India. These dances would be performed by Nadam group led by Ms. Nandini Mehta and Mr. K. Murali Mohan, who are well known exponents of this dance form. These performances will be on 27 January (6.00 pm) at the Chaktomuk Theatre and on 28 January (3.00 pm) at Institute of Technology in Phnom Penh.

To ensure that maximum number of Cambodian friends are able to enjoy these performances we have ensured that entry to all cultural performances is free.

In recognition of the fact that Buddhism represents a strong link between India and Cambodia, a Buddhist Festival will be organized at Wat Ounalum from 06-10 February with the opening ceremony taking place at 4pm on Monday 6th February. Part of the Festival is “Dharam Darshan” an exhibition, which will explore and illustrate the life and teachings of the Buddha. Besides there will a photo exhibition on the Buddhist heritage sites in India the life of Buddha.

An Indian Food Festival will be being organized in Siem Reap from 14-16 January at Hotel Le Meridien and in Phnom Penh from 18-25 January at Hotel InterContinental. During the food festival, two experienced Indian chefs would present the different cuisines from India.

Finally we will also have an Indian Film Festival to showcase a bouquet of Bollywood films.

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