Puri, May 15 : A five-day folk fair organized to promote various facets of the art and culture, which are facing extinction with the growing influence of modernism, captivated a huge number of people here recently.
The main objective of the annual fair was to promote and preserve art and culture of tribal communities and otherwise which are feared to fade into oblivion.
Members of the voluntary organization believe that the heritage, in terms of ancient culture, is somehow struggling to survive and it needs support for uplift.
Organised by Shrikshetra Soochana, a non-government voluntary organisation, the Folk Fair-2008 held from May 10 to 14 had its own charm, especially for those who take interest in ancient art and culture.
Over 600 folk artistes participated in the annual fair. The event showcased live presentation and performances of various art forms which were feared to be on the verge of extinction.
"Artistes belonging to various tribes from different parts of the country performed here. This platform bridges the gap between various tribal cultures (depicted in the folk dances and songs) and the common people. It's been five years since this festival started where 12 tribes present their folk dances and songs," said Rajesh Mahanly of Shrikshetra Soochana, Puri.
The fair included a variety entertainment programmes and dances were projected on the tinsel screen.
"This Folk Fair 2008 provided us an opportunity to know cultures of different States. There are people from Bihar, Rajasthan and other States here. We get to know about their dances, musical instruments and flairs. Such a cultural exchange is good. When we arrived here we were told about Jagannath Puri and we witnessed the culture and ancient heritage of this place. We are very pleased," said Manpreet, one artiste from a troupe from Delhi, who has performed abroad as well.
"I felt very good being here. Different artistes from different states gathered here and it was nice to meet them and know their respective cultures. Such programmes should be organised nationwide so that we can meet people from other States and spread the message of love and brotherhood," said Priti Ratori, an artist.
People were delighted to have an opportunity to learn and enjoy something distinct through the folk fair.
"It's a very good effort. It provided us the creative opportunity to witness various cultures of our country in a single platform," said Kailash Ray, an audience. By Sarada Lahangir