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Fiji At First World Ramayana Mela

Fiji, among eight other countries, took part in the first International Ramayan Mela in India. A group of 10 people including students performed episodes of Ram Leela in three states
09 Mar 2015 13:39
Fiji At First World Ramayana Mela

Fiji, among eight other countries, took part in the first International Ramayan Mela in India.

A group of 10 people including students performed episodes of Ram Leela in three states of India. The programme was part of the cultural diplomacy where Fiji was fortunate to have been invited under the Indian Cultural Relations Programme (ICCR) of the Indian Government.

The programme was organised through the ICCR in Fiji and its director Mr Kanojia.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whilst inaugurating the first International Ramayana Mela at FICCI Auditorium in New Delhi on February 23, 2015 said: “That time has come for us to realise the potential of soft power as an important strategy for external affairs and foreign relations.”

Fiji’s High Commissioner to India – Yogesh Karan said Cultural-Diplomacy was an important component of enhancing international relations in an increased globalised, interdependent world now.

He also said cultural diplomacy was needed to foster peace, harmony, and stability throughout the world and once applied, possesses the unique ability to influence the “Global Public Opinion” and ideology of individuals, communities, cultures or nations, which can accelerate the realisation respect and recognition of cultural diversity and heritage and golbal intercultural dialogue.

Moreover, Mr Karan said Ramayana and Ramyana Mandalis in Fiji have a constructive role in the social fabrics of Fiji for more than 130 years. Such grouping known, as ‘mandalis’ are source of inspiration for our youth. Every settlement in the country has unique Ramayana Mandalis and their recitations on weekly basis to educate and preserve religion, cultural and heritage in Fiji.

Mr Modi said world affairs were no longer on one track. Soft power is becoming increasingly critical in world affairs across the world.

He said: “India should leverage its great traditions and culture in forging ties with countries around the world in a way that is deeper, more personal, and therefore, far more powerful.”

The Prime Minister said all countries that have Gautam Buddha, Ram, and Ramayana as part of their own culture has a bond with India that transcends diplomatic ties.

The Prime Minister said that the Ramayana, thus held the wisdom behind every aspect of an ideal society. In this respect, he said, that the International Ramayana Mela was a positive beginning for connecting with the small towns and cities of India, thus truly connecting with the real India.

Union Minister for External Affairs, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, was present on the occasion and outlined the format of the International Ramayana Mela in her welcoming remarks.

“The ideas and ideals of the Ramayana flower in myriad formats. Reinterpreted ceaselessly by the creative genius of the artist and storyteller, the epic traversed across centuries, countries, cultures, languages and art forms. Forever transmuted in the alchemy of human emotion and expression, it is found from Fiji, China to Cambodia to the Caribbean, from the silent recesses of the human soul to the staccato wisdom of the wooden puppet in the International Ramayana Mela, Indian Council for Cultural Relations brings glimpses of this magical alchemy with troupes from eight countries. This inaugural of the Mela offers presentations from Indonesia and Fiji.”




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