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Ambassador's speech on the celebration of the State of Manipur in Madagascar

Posted on: August 19, 2022 | Back | Print

Ambassador speech on the celebration of the State of Manipur in Madagascar 

Excellency, Honorable ….
Excellencies Ambassadors and the Head of the International Organisations

Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Government
Dear members of the diplomatic corps
Honorable guests,

It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you all today on this occasion when, for the first time in the history of India-Madagascar relations, we have a special 12-member dance group from the north eastern Indian state of Manipur. 

The ancient history of Manipur dates back to 33 A.D. It is a land of exquisite culture, diverse ethnicity, pristine natural beauty and ancient structures. One of the remarkable events in the history of Manipur is the Battle of Imphal (4th to 6th April 1944), an intense battle which marked an important role in India’s freedom struggle. Manipur officially became an Indian state in the year 1972. Manipur is home to a diverse indigenous group of people, each unique in their culture and dialect. Manipur has a lot to offer in forms of folk dances and music, from the globally acclaimed Manipuri dance to the ancient form of martial arts Thang Ta. We will be witness to some of these forms today.

Manipur is a land of a number of cultural places including temples. Shree Shree Govindajee temple is one such historic centre in Manipur. The presiding deity in the temple, Radha-Krishna are carved out of a jackfruit tree. The temple attracts large number of devotees who participate in various devotional activities. Today, India and many Indians around the world are celebrating the Indian festival of Janmashtami, the birth day of Indian God Lord Krishna. I believe the performance of the group will be a perfect celebration of this holi festival today.

The group that we have today here is a part of the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy (JNMDA). The Academy is named after the first Prime Minister of India and was established in 1954. It is a constituent unit of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi with the objective to train students in Manipuri dance, music and allied arts. The Academy has brought out 50 dancers and musicians who had passed 3-year Post Diploma Course and 150 dancers and musicians who had finished 3-year Diploma Course. The Academy also organized JNMDA Festival of Dance and Music at the National level and JNMDA Festival of Young Dancers and Musicians at the State level. Eminent dancers and musicians from all over India participated in the National Festivals. After performing in Mauritius, the group has arrived to perform in Madagascar. It will then move forward to perform in South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

Recently, India celebrated 75 years of its independence. Today’s event is a part of the number of initiatives the Embassy of India has organized under the Government of India initiative: Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements.  I am happy to see this progress extending in the form of help to Madagascar like donation of 50 computers, 15000 bicycles and 5000 tonnes of rice from India. 

Today, I believe, is the evening that will be forever remembered as a colorful chapter in the history of relations between India and Madagascar and will further strengthen the cultural links between our two countries. It will generate interest about the beauty of Indian folk culture and the mesmerizing culture of Indian state of Manipur among the people of Madagascar. I encourage everyone to enjoy the various informative stands that are displayed outside this hall about the arts, culture, festivals, handloom, cuisines and tourist places in Manipur. This is even more special because this year, India and Madagascar are celebrating 62 years of their diplomatic relations.

As Ambassador of India to Madagascar, I feel privileged to take this partnership forward to greater heights. 

Excellency, Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank you all for your presence here today. I hope that today’s evening will be etched in our memories forever and will help in promoting the beauty of Indian culture in Madagascar for the years to come.