A renowned Indian cultural troupe, the Lok Chahhanda Cultural Unit, on Saturday thrilled guests at the Centre for National Culture at Fijai near Sekondi in the Western Region with spectacular dancing styles during the celebration of an Indian festival christened “Matri”.
“Matri” in the Indian language means friendship. The festival was therefore organized to commemorate 60 years of a strong bond of friendship between India and Ghana.
It was held in collaboration with Ghana’s Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, as well as the governments of both countries.
The festival was an important aspect of cultural diplomacy aimed at strengthening bilateral cultural relations between the two countries.
The focus was to connect and enhance the perception of India in the minds of Ghanaians and offer them a glimpse of the flavour and variety of Indian culture.
It showcased the multifaceted aspects of Indian culture in its various colours and forms.
The festival was officially launched on the eve of the 68th Republic Day celebration of India on January 25, 2017 at the National Theatre of Ghana.
Led by Ms Maitreyee Pahari, the cultural troupe performed the “Samanvay” which is an amalgamation of different Indian classical and traditional dance forms.
The Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency Birender Singh, who was present, had earlier announced that the India-Ghana relations had traditionally been warm and friendly.
He indicated that a strong foundation of the bilateral relation was laid by the then Indian leadership and the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
The festival, he added, had components of Indian classical and folk dances, ‘sufi’ music, Indian food festival, Indian film festival and lecture as well as a demonstration of Yoga.
According to him, as part of the celebration, a food festival would be organised in collaboration with the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City from February 10-16, 2017 and would have ‘sufi’ and folksong recital by one Dr Mamata Joshi.
According to him, similar festivals had already been held in Australia, Canada, France, Indonesia and Italy, among several other countries. Mr Singh said a film festival would be held at the Indian House where three Bollywood films would be shown as part of the celebrations.
According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of B5 Plus Ltd, Mr. Mukesh V. Thakwani, the strengthening of bilateral cultural relations between Ghana and India is dear to his heart and for that reason B5 Plus (a key sponsor of the event) has been investing substantially in the development of such relations in Ghana.
B5 Plus started in year 2002 and has emerged as a market leader in West Africa. The company is the leading steel manufacturing and trading company in Ghana with a complete range of steel products from mild steel to special steel suitable for construction of small scale projects to huge ones like the mining industry, shipping, engineering, automobile industry and real estate projects.
Mr Thakwani, who is also a Director of the Delhi Public School International (DPSI) in Tema, said the strengthening of these bilateral cultural relations also forms a major part of the curriculum of the DPSI and that B5 Plus will continue to invest in maintaining and strengthening the relationship between Ghana and India.