India-South Africa strengthen cultural relations

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New Delhi, Aug 20 (UNI) India and South Africa signed a "Programme of Cooperation" in the fields of arts and culture to further deepen bilateral relations.

The agreement was signed by Tourism and Culture Minister and her South African counterpart Pallo Jordan during the former's visit there to attend the centenary celebrations of historic protest march led by Mahatma Gandhi on August 16, 1908.

"The Programme of Cooperation (2008-2010) will further strengthen active cooperation and deepen cultural relations between the two countries through time bound, action oriented activities in diverse fields such as handicrafts, literature, music, dance and films," Tourism Ministry sources said here today.

The Programme of Cooperation will facilitate establishment of contacts and cooperation between associations, institutions and individuals in the field of music, theatre, library, museum, performing arts and creative industries on governmental and non-governmental levels.

It envisages exchange of handicrafts exhibition for a period of 7-10 days in each other's country, exchange of skills in design, design-related activities, training in intellectual property in the design industry, collaboration and exchanges in the areas of design, education and research, engaging select institutions from both the countries in design projects, exchange of faculty members and experts including design policy experts and academics in the field of design.

It seeks to encourage the study of literature of each other's country by exchange of books, translation of literary works, exchange of experts such as writers, policy experts, creative writing instructors, literary critics etc and establishing writers' residences.

There will be exchanges in the field of performing arts, besides efforts to promote mutual film weeks, presentation of new films, exchange of documentaries and other films of mutual interest.

Ms Soni attended the celebration on August 16 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's historic passive resistance movement resulting in bonfire of 1908.

As part of the celebration, she led a walk from Museum Africa to the Hamidia Mosque in Fordsburg, where a symbolic bonfire of registration certificates took place.

The event was attended by a large number of community representatives and students and prominent leaders of South Africa such as Mr Jordan, Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, ANC Deputy President and Minister in the Presidency.

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