India is keen on deepening its cultural relations with Australia which would create “greater understanding” between the two countries, the Indian High Commissioner here has said.
Stressing on the power of cultural and public diplomacy, Navdeep Suri said, “if we were to think India-Australia relations can only be done at government levels, we will be missing major opportunities”.
“The impact of culture in bringing people together and in creating greater understanding was the need of the hour when the two sides were enjoying a reasonably trouble free relationship,” Suri said while holding the media launch of the ‘Confluence – The Festival of India’ event here yesterday.
“My belief is that it produces a reservoir of goodwill, understanding which will stand us in good stead when this relations gets buffeted by some unexpected events,” he said.
Following a major Australian festival “Oz fest” which was held in 2012, Indian government is now unveiling a 12-week long event ‘Confluence Festival of India’ across seven cities of Australia. Suri said there was a similar programme compiled by Australian government for India.
The Festival of India programme would run from August to November this year showcasing rich and diverse dance, music, theatre and visual arts from India across Australia.
It would also include conferences and workshops on traditional and contemporary Indian culture and its confluence with Australia.
Melbourne alone will host at least 15 performances from some of the renowned Indian artists and groups like Nirtyagram, Kalashetra Foundation, Pung Cholom, the Ishara International Puppet Trust and Raghu Dixit Project, Sonam Kalra and The Sufi Gospel Project and The Company Theatre’s Piya Behrupiya.
The events will take place at some of the iconic sites of Australia like Sydney Opera house, Melbourne’s Federation square and Melbourne Recital centre, Perth Concert Hall, Elizabthe Quay in Perth.
“Festival of India in Australia contain several projects, performances and workshops that include both traditional and contemporary arts and provide a merge of Indian creativity which has been exposed globally,” said Indian Consul General Manika Jain.
The festival will be run across Melbourne, Sydney, Alice springs, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.