Surajkund Crafts Mela to be held from Feb 1

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Chandigarh, Jan 24 (UNI) A fortnight long Surajkund Crafts Mela, an internationally recognized event that showcased the finest handlooms, handicrafts, culture and cuisine of India, will be held from February one next.

The crafts mela, which would be held at Surajkund in Faridabad district, will be inaugurated by Union External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Haryana Minister of State for Tourism Kiran Choudhry said at a press conference here today.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and West Bengal Tourism Minister Manabendra Mukherjee will be present at the inauguration.

West Bengal is the theme State of this year's crafts mela, in which seven countries are also taking part, she said.

About 250 artists from the theme state and a number of performers from other states would present their cultural performances during the mela, she said.

She said that wide range of cultural programmes would be performed in the mela. About 350 craftpersons or weavers would display their handicrafts. More than 60 per cent of the participants are national and state awardees, she said.

The Minister said that main attractions of cultural programmes would be "Hasya Kavi Sammellan" by Mr Surender Sharma on February 4, Little Champs Show on February 5, Punjabi Folk Singer Badru Zaman from Pakistan on February 9 and Dance Ballet-Holi Aai Re by Padma Vibhushan Birju Maharaj on February 12.

A fashion show would be organized by the famous designers of the theme State-West Bengal on February 9.

Mrs Choudhry said that performers from various states like Kargam Folk Dance (Tamil Nadu), Dhollu Kunita Folk Dance (Karnataka), Dandiya and Garba (Gujarat), Tarang Mail (Goa), Sambhalpuri Dance (Orissa), Bihu (Assam), Panthi (Chhatisgarh), Chakri (Rajasthan), Rai (Madhya Pradesh), Dhol Nagara, Been Sapera and Ghoomer (Haryana) and Puppet Show (Rajasthan) have been invited to the mela.

Apart from this, food stalls of the theme state and from Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat would be the main attraction in the mela.

UNI VKJ MMS1941

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