Surajkund (Haryana), Feb 3: The participation of craftsmen from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries has added to the attraction of the 15-day Surajkund fair that showcases the traditional art and crafts of India.
Carpets, silver jewellery, and paintings from Afghanistan have become a huge hit at the fair. "I am happy at the Indian Government's step. Sales are good at our stall," said Azeem Ahmad Asmail, a carpet seller from Afghanistan. A stall keeper from Thailand said that they have brought with them the things which cannot be found anywhere in the country.
"And I think people have interest in Thai stuff because we provide new things which you cannot find anywhere in India," said Nina Phattrporn, a stall keeper from Thailand.
The Union Tourism Ministry in collaboration with the Haryana Tourism Department organizes this fair.
The fair began in 1987 as a novel scheme to highlight outstanding handicrafts and handloom traditions of the country, to identify languishing and lesser-known crafts and to introduce them to patrons and to encourage these art forms to grow.
Over the years, the fair has attracted a lot of visitors -- both from within and outside the country.
For many, it is an opportunity to see master craftsmen from all over the country working at the same venue, while for some it is a chance to rediscover the Indian culture.
Musical programs and classical dances at the Natyashala (the fan shaped amphitheatre) are also organized during the fair.