Surajkund fair, a major draw for art and craft lovers

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New Delhi, Feb 9 (ANI): The 25th Surajkund Crafts Mela is proving to be major attraction for art and craft lovers, besides international tourists.

Organised jointly by the Union Tourism Ministry and Haryana tourism department, the fair has been a major draw for people not only from India but from all across the world.

Introduced in 1987, the fair is held every year with the twin objective of highlighting India's handicraft and handloom traditions.

Preveen Gupta, Officer Head of Media Center of Surajkund said: "Surajkund craft fair started first in 1987 and since then it is being celebrated annually as you rightly said this is the 25th crafts fair and we are celebrating silver jubilee this year."

"The idea of having a theme state is not only inviting their handloom, handicraft, culture but to create a mini India. Like if a person have never been to Andhra he will have a glimpse of state in craft fair," he added.

The fair also witnessed artisans from SAARC nations. Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, from central Asia participated in the fair for the first time.

P Chanappam, the head of a painters delegation from Karnataka said: " We have been coming to this fair for the last 10 years. The ambience is very good and sales have been excellent."

Nancy, a Zambian tourist said: "I am new to India so its really diverse looking at the different sorts of culture that are here. I participated in the dance as well which I think is really nice and I think its fun of uniting entire nation and showing India as being one to outside world."

Carlos Jose, a Chilean tourist said: "I very much like handicrafts, the materials, the leather, the wood, the silk and I especially like food. I am enjoying it very much and what I like the most about the fair is Indian iconography and Indian arts."

Besides a display of various handcrafted and handloom products, the Suraj Kund fair is also showcasing the different classical, tribal and folk art forms of the Indian subcontinent. By Maryam Yasmin (ANI)

|Oz faces ethnic divide over unknowingly buying livestock slaughtered "in the name of Allah"|World[Canberra{Canberra, Feb 9 (ANI): Senior Liberal MPs in Canberra have warned that Australia faces risks of becoming a country of "ethnic enclaves" that unknowingly buys livestock slaughtered "in the name of Allah."

Former Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews has slammed the political leaders in the country for not speaking out openly about the rise of extreme Islam, adding that their silence could contribute to the rise of One Nation-type movements, news.com.au reports.

"There is a risk of enclaves in Australia. What actually concerns me the most is that we can't have a discussion about it," Andrews said.

Liberal MP Mitch Fifield backed Andrews' opinion saying Australia faces the danger of developing parallel societies", like that of Europe, where hardline Muslim groups preached sharia law rather than Western values.

Amid a robust debate in Europe over failed "state multiculturalism", Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has warned Australia to avoid committing mistakes like other nations that allowed religious fanatics to prosper "before it is too late".

"I, for one, don't want to eat meat butchered in the name of an ideology that is mired in sixth century brutality and is anathema to my own values," he said.

The Government and the Greens, however turned down the fears, saying that the nation should focus on the "positive" aspects of its diverse ethnic heritage. (ANI)

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