A slice of India in crisis-hit Egypt

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Cairo, March 28: Egyptians, weary of a years-long political crisis that refuses to end, are sure to get some relief when a slice of India will enter their lives next month through the annual Indian cultural festival called 'India by the Nile'.

To be held in the Egyptian cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Hurghada and Luxor April 1-20, this year's event is the second edition and India's largest ever festival in Egypt and the largest foreign festival of any country in recent years, according to information provided by the Indian embassy in Egypt.

"We are doing several innovative things to focus public attention on the festival, including a flash mob at Cairo airport when the main cast and crew for a major Bollywood style musical arrive March 30," India's Ambassador to Egypt Navdeep Suri said in a message.

According to the ambassador, one of the key features of the festival will be the active participation of local groups and dignitaries in the various activities being planned.

At least six Egyptian cabinet ministers have also confirmed their participation in the various events.

For a country known for its fascination for Amitabh Bachchan, can Bollywood be kept out of such an event? Hence a Bollywood dance workshop and staging of a musical, 'Bollywood Love Story', are part of the highlights of the festival.

Scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar will speak about songs in Bollywood while his wife Shabana Azmi will enlighten people about Bollywood as an industry.

Another interesting event will be an exhibition of saris called 'The Magic of Indian Weaves' in which free lessons in sari draping will also be given.

To complete the kaleidoscope of Indian culture, there will be kathak dance recitals, nagada (Indian kettle drum) workshops and Rajasthan folk music performances.

As part of the festival, Egyptians will also get to tickle their taste buds in the Indian Food Fiesta.

Humour will be found in popular Indian cartoonist Sudhir Tailang's exhibition while literary circles will be abuzz when authors from India and Egypt interact.

IANS

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