Astana (Kazakhstan), Sep.9 (ANI): The Embassy of India in Kazakhstan has organized an "India Week and Food Festival" in Astana and Almaty from September 8 to 18 in collaboration with the Rixos President Hotel Astana, Intercontinental Hotel Almaty and Air Astana as part of its continued efforts to promote people-to-people contacts and strengthen bilateral relations between India and Kazakhstan.
India's Ambassador to Kazakhstan Ashok Sajjanhar, Kairat Sarybai, Assistant to Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Akan Bizhanov, Member of Parliament (Senate) addressed the gathering of about 100 specially invited guests.
The inaugural ceremony included several VIPS.
In his inaugural address, Ambassador Sajjanhar informed the gathering that the week-long Food Festival in Astana and Almaty are initiatives by the Indian Embassy to further strengthen relations between India and Kazakhstan and increase understanding and cooperation between the two peoples through the wonderful medium of good food.
He underlined that this year has been eventful and momentous in India-Kazakhstan bilateral relations.
Ambassador Sajjanhar expressed confidence that relations between the two countries will improve significantly as a result of these initiatives.
He also welcomed a delegation of 12 leading tour operators from India who are presently in Kazakhstan through the courtesy of Air Astana to promote relations in the area of tourism between the two countries.
Kairat Sarybai underlined the importance of further improving the growing bilateral relations between the two countries. He fondly recounted his visit to India with President Nazarbayev in January 2009. Senator Akan Bizhanov underlined the cultural relations between India and Kazakhstan.
A graceful Odissi dance performance by Ms. Nurgul Amirbekova, a Kazakhstani artiste who studied Indian classical dance in Delhi for three years under scholarship from the ICCR added colour and splendour to the event.
The Embassy also displayed Indian Objects d'Arts, tourist information materials, and Indian books including recipe books at the venue. After the conclusion of the official function the guests were treated to a variety of exotic Indian food delicacies.
The Embassy has invited a team of four leading chefs headed by Mr. Marut Sikka to organize the Indian Food Festival in Kazakhstan. They will be delighting gourmands and connoisseurs of authentic Indian delicacies during the five-day long Food Festival, both in Astana and Almaty.
The inaugural event was widely covered in the Kazakh media.
The inauguration of India Week and Indian Food Festival in Almaty will be held on September 14 at Intercontinental Hotel and will last till September 18. (ANI)