Festival to showcase Northeast India in Thailand

NEW DELHI, 24 Jul: A three-day festival from 29 July in Thailand will showcase Northeast India and explore the shared history through a series of discussions, exhibitions, buyer-seller meets, and song, dance and fashion events.

The second edition of the Northeast India Festival is being organised in Bangkok to celebrate the 75th year of India’s diplomatic relations with Thailand. The first edition was organised in February 2019.

Bollywood actress Andrea Kevichusa (of Anek fame), stars from the Northeast, besides well-known Thai actors will walk the ramp for northeastern fabrics by designers from the region such as Anuradha Kuli, Robert Naorem, Priyanka Lama, Mami, Bidyut & Rakesh, Iba Mallai, Kivitoli Chishi, Meghali Das and Daisy Momin.

Top musical bands of the Northeast, such as Soulmate, David Angu & the Tribe, Zubeen Garg and band, Tetseo sisters, and TaFMA will take the stage. Famous rock band from Thailand, STAMP, is also scheduled to perform.

Delectable cuisines of the Northeast will be another attraction at the festival.

Representatives from northeastern states and around 30 MSME entrepreneurs will showcase products from the region, with special focus on tea, crafts, agro-horti products and tourism, chief organiser of the festival Shyamkanu Mahanta said.

“The festival is an attempt to create a market for products from the Northeast, promote tourism, especially focusing on Tai tourism circuits, and creating a connect among people and academia,” Mahanta told PTI.

“We are trying to follow the Act East vision of our prime minister to connect both the regions,” he added.

With the focus on Tai culture of the Northeast, a large team from the Tai Khamti and Tai Ahom communities will present their history, heritage and culture and interact with prominent Thai scholars and historians.

“The festival proposes to focus on Tai tourism circuits of upper Assam, Tai Ahom historical monuments, Tai Phake village and Tai Khamti areas of Arunachal Pradesh,” Mahanta said.

The festival will begin with an inaugural session on 29 July at the Centara Grand Hotel, Bangkok, to be hosted by the Indian embassy.

Union MoS for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Deputy Chief Minister of Arunachal Chowna Mein, Mizoram Tourism Minister Pu Robert Romawia Royte, and Assam Minister Urkhao Gwra Brahma, besides senior officials of India and Thailand and top industrialists and influencers of Thailand are expected to be present at the session.

The main festival showcasing arts, culture, music and dance will be on 30 and 31 July at Central World in Bangkok.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt, and ambassadors of various ASEAN and QUAD countries are also expected to attend the festival, Mahanta said, adding that an extensive campaign is on currently, highlighting the festival in various metro stations of Bangkok.

The festival is being organised by socio-cultural trust Trend MMS with support from the Indian embassy in Bangkok, various northeastern states and the Northeast Indian diaspora of Thailand under the organisation NEIA.

In line with the Act East policy, a series of B2B meets will be held to promote bilateral trade. Business meets on tourism will be attended by major tour operators of Thailand, who will interact with tourism departments of the northeastern states and the operators of the region.

Buyer-seller interactions will aim at promoting markets for northeastern products, Mahanta said. (PTI)