NEW DELHI, 9 Dec: The 10th North East Festival will bring the colours and cultures of Northeast India to the national capital in a vibrant celebration of arts, crafts, food, music, fashion and dance, with an aim to promote tourism opportunities in the region.
Starting from 23 December, the North East Festival will be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium with the participation of over 500 artists across 30 musical bands, 16 fashion designers, 60 food stalls, more than 100 MSME businesses, and a number of tour operators.
The North East Festival was last held in Delhi in 2019. The next two editions were held in Guwahati in a hybrid mode in 2020 and 2021.
Talking about the upcoming festival, chief organiser Shyamkanu Mahanta said that the narrative about the Northeast is changing as it is becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations for foreign and domestic visitors.
“Earlier the narrative about the Northeast was insurgency and disturbances, but the North East Festival has changed the narrative to food, tourism potential, music, fashion and culture.
“We want to emphasise that the Northeast is changing, so we want to highlight tourism. We want to show the Northeast to those who haven’t been there. We will be showcasing the incredible tourism destinations of the Northeast. We will also highlight the freedom fighters of the Northeast,” Mahanta said.
He added that the festival will also provide B2B opportunities to buyers and sellers of the Northeast and Delhi.
The 10th edition of the North East Festival is expected to be inaugurated by Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, and cabinet ministers Piyush Goel and Sarbananda Sonowal, among other senior leaders.
With an aim to encourage cross-cultural awareness and exchange, as many as 60 food stalls will present diverse food items not only from Northeast India but Delhi-NCR as well.
Apart from showcasing the rich and diverse food culture of the Northeast, the four-day festival will also feature multi-genre musical artistes, including popular singer Zubeen Garg and Achurjya Borpatra.
Bands including When Chai Met Toast and Klanjan (Assam), Innocent Eyes (Manipur), Traffic Jam (Manipur), Flying Cupid (Assam), Bipul Chettri & The Travelling Band (Sikkim/Darjeeling), Trance Effect (Nagaland), Taba Chake (Arunachal Pradesh), and Jessie Lyndoh (Meghalaya) will participate in the festival.
Another highlight of the event will be the battle of the bands – a rock music competition – for the youths of the Northeast and Delhi.
“The USP of this festival is the way in which we seamlessly integrate elements of social cohesion, cultural heritage, and economic welfare, making them an immersive experience for all.
“We’ve been able to sensitise people to recognise and respect the opulent and diverse heritage that the region holds. People are now aware of our culture and traditions, and that has helped in reducing racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia – a major issue faced by Northeast Indians,” Mahanta added.
The fashion shows will see 16 designers of the region featuring local fabrics and designs and the exhibition arena will showcase ‘Made in Northeast’ products, including agri-horti products, handloom, handicrafts, and processed food products.
The festival will come to an end on 26 December. (PTI)