Northeast Festival in Delhi to focus on tourism

New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) Tourism will be the key focus of the three-day Northeast Festival set to get underway here on Friday.

“This year, tourism is the key focus and the festival will bring forth various facets of the northeast,” Shyamkanu Mahanta, the festival’s chief organiser who heads socio-cultural trust Trend MMS, said in a statement on Thursday.

“With the enthusiastic support of Delhi Tourism, we are inviting tour operators across Delhi to be a part of the Northeast Festival and we expect many foreign tourists as well,” he said.

According to Mahanta, various festivals of the eight northeastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura – will be showcased at the festival, now in its third edition.

“Around 60 tribal artisans and textile entrepreneurs would exhibit the best of northeast handloom and handicrafts,” he added.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will inaugurate the festival on Friday at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) while Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra will be the guest of honour for the inaugural ceremony.

This year’s event will have various forms of northeastern music, exhibitions of tribes, freedom fighters, photographs, painting, cartoons, films, handloom and handicraft, and traditional sports of the region.

A dedicated food festival will also be held for the duration of the event, featuring various delicacies of all the eight states of the northeast.

As many as 40 musical bands, including some of the best bands of the region, will be performing across three days.

Thirty dance forms will be presented and a dedicated handloom and handicraft exhibition showcasing the best of ethnic handloom and handicraft products will also be held.

Seminars on issues relating to the northeast, including one on the central government’s Act East policy, will also be held.

One evening will be dedicated to the Majuli island on the Brahmaputra, the world’s largest river island being lost to erosion.

This year, another addition to the event is a football tournament with the participation of 20 teams from and outside the northeast.

According to the organisers, over 300,000 people are expected to visit the festival.

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