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Concluding ceremony of Festival of India in Madagascar: Garaba Dance shows on 22th November in Tana and Mahajanga on 29th November

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Festival of India in Madagascar was organised from 24th September to 30thNovember 2015 by the Embassy of India, with the support of the Ministry of Culture - Government of India and Sangeet Natak Akademy of India - New Delhi and India Tourism Development Corporation.    The Festival of India in Madagascar started with the inaugural ceremony on 24th September 2015 by a fusion of dances performed by the Nrityarupa Dance Troupe crafted by the Sangeet Natak Akademy for the Festival of India. Thereafter, the  last two months were filled with activities like Bhangra dance performances in Antananarivo and Toamasina, Mehandi Art Application in Antananarivo and Toamasina; and Indian Food Festival at Hotel Ibis, Antananarivo for which two renowned chefs from India were especially flown to present their mouth-watering dishes to the connoisseurs of Indian cuisine in Madagascar.

The objective of the Festival of India is to enlighten the friendly people of Madagascar and other countries with various facets of rich Indian culture and heritage. Another important objective of the Festival is to exchange culture between India and Madagascar which play an important part in further strengthening  the already existing harmonious relationship between the two countries. This is the first time that such a Festival has been organized in Madagascar and it is hoped that such endeavours will continue from the two sides in future as well.   The Embassy is thankful to the Malagasy authorities, people at large and the Indian Diaspora for being so receptive, encouraging and being so supportive of the various cultural events organized by the Embassy of India in Madagascar.

It is a well-known fact that more than 80% of the Indian diaspora in Madagascar is of Gujarati origin and hence the concluding event was chosenkeeping in mind the presence of this Indian Diaspora. The Garaba performances in Antananarivo and Mahajanga were, therefore, indeed thebefitting finale of the Festival of India.  The concluding event of the Festival of India in Madagascar was an Indian Folk Dance Performance - popularly known as Garaba - originating in the Indian state Gujarat. 

The performanceswere held
 on Friday 27th November, at Espace Salohy, Antananarivo and on Sunday 29th November 2015, at “Maison de la Culture”, Mahajanga.  These shows were presented by a group of 14 Indian folk dancers from Aavishkar Academy of Performing Arts, Ahmedabad (Gujarat), who came toMadagascar to perform and entertain the audience.  The Antananarivo audience were enthralled with the spectacular performance of the folk dance artists.  It was jam-packed hall at Espace Salohy – Antananarivo withapproximately 700 persons who thoroughly enjoyed the danceperformances.  Since the show at Mahajanga was the first Indian folk dance event in the city’s living memory, the audience deeply appreciated the performance by the Indian folk dance artists and profusely thanked the Government of India for organizing such a wonderful entertaining culturalevent.

The Embassy has been able to successfully hold these cultural events as part of the Festival of India in Madagascar with a befitting finale with able support of the Indian Ministry of Culture, Sangeet Natak Akademy of India and India Tourism Development Corporation. This has enabled the Indian Embassy to create an awareness about Indian culture among the local Malagasy population, other nationalities and Indian diaspora. The objective of the Festival of India in Madagascar has been fully achieved and it will go a long way in strengthening relations between India and Madagascar culturally and otherwise.