Shopping Festivals from six regions to be held

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New Delhi, Feb 12 (UNI) Urban shoppers will get a taste of village life at the "Shopping Festivals for promotion of Handicrafts and Rural Tourism" being organised by the Ministry of Tourism in six regions of the country every year.

The "Toshali National Crafts Mela", to be held in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, in the eastern region from February 15-27, will kick off the shopping festival with more than 150 craft persons taking part to showcase the finest handicrafts and handlooms of India.

Union Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni will inaugurate the event that will enable visitors to interact with the skilled artisans displaying their wares.

The event is being organised by the Department of Tourism, Government of Orissa with the assistance of the Union Tourism Ministry.

Amid the village ambience, a variety of cultural programmes during the day will provide a glimpse of the colours and traditional art forms of rural India. The highly skilled artisans will display an amazing variety of unique products from different parts of the country. Visitors will also be able to see the craftsmen at work, producing pieces of art.

Cultural programmes every evening will be held to include classical and folk performances like Odissi dance, Kathak, Bharat natyam, ghazals and folk performances by renowned artistes.

Multi-cuisine food stalls serving popular and traditional delicacies will be a treat for the entire family.

Eighteen rural tourism projects of the Tourism ministry, supported by UNDP, will exhibit specialised crafts and handlooms of Raghurajpur and Pipli (Orissa), Sualkuchi (Assam), Nepura (Bihar), Hodka (Gujarat), Chitrakote and Nagarnar (Chhattisgarh), Pranpur-Chowgn (Madhya Pradesh), Samod (Rajasthan), Ballavpur Danga, and Mukutmonipur (West Bengal).

This is part of the initiative of the Tourism Ministry to create a large platform for displaying its rich cultural heritage and tourism products in conjunction with various state governments/union territories. The regions selected are East, West, South, North, Central and the North-East.

UNI SD MS RN2001

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