Vivid Indian festival bids its farewells to Egyptian fans, promising to be back in 2016.
India by the Nile that gathered thousands of Egyptians in four major cities has been closed on April 17. Numerous performances and activities were held during the eighteen-day-long event organized by the Indian Embassy to Egypt.
The third edition of the annual festival started on March 30 with Bollywood Dance Workshop moderated by a French choreographer Gilles Chuyen who works in India.
Many young Egyptians attended free dancing masterclass and called on more countries to launch similar festivals in Egypt. A college student Aya Abdallah said that for her, dancing is “life” and “freedom”. “I loved India so much after this dance,” she said, adding that she was happy with this fun environment, which she had missed because of the tense conditions Egypt is experiencing, the online edition Egyptian Streets informs.
The next day one of the most prominent Indian actors Amitabh Bachchan and famous journalist Sidharth Bhatia had an interesting discussion about the life and career of the star to the audience gathered in Cairo Opera House.
According to Middle Eastern Al Bawaba news website, “the meeting unveiled a man deeply in love with the phenomenon called cinema, humble, grateful for all the wonders that life brought his way, and even appreciative of failure as an important part of the learning process”. He thanked Egyptians for a warm and hearty welcome, “the same regard and affection” they still have towards him “after so many decades”.
“Known to millions of fans in India and across the globe, Bachchan's appearance anywhere generates instant and extreme frenzy, an agitation that can be compared to the Beatle-mania that swept the world in the 1960’s. With the Indian population almost worshipping the actor, Egyptian fans (who also number millions) are no less expressive of their love”, Al Bawaba writes.
After the meeting at Cairo Opera House a 1977 Bollywood movie “Amar Akbar Anthony” featuring Bachchan was screened. Later the same evening the artist attended the gala event at the Great Pyramids and officially inaugurated the festival.
Indian street food was displayed for degustation outside the Hanager Gallery in Cairo from March 31 to April 3. Later Egyptians could taste exotic meals and fragrant Indian tea at Masraweya Café in Al Azhar Park and Fairmont Hotel, Heliopolis.
A fiery colourful Bollywood extravaganza titled “A Tale of Passion, Love and Revenge” themed on Amitabh Bachchan’s most important roles charmed the audience of Cairo and Alexandria. The musical involving 35 Indian dancers narrates about a love story that is set against the backdrop of the vivid world of Bollywood.
“No Indian festival is complete without a Bollywood song and dance performance,” the Ambassador of India to Egypt Navdeep Suri stated.
One of the most innovative eclectic fusion bands “Advaita” held concerts in Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia and Port Said. “After a conversation with our friends in the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, they said that this year the festival must have a special focus on the Suez Canal cities as the Canal is important for Egypt. And so, we have music and dance troupes going to Port Said and Ismailia to perform in the Cultural Palaces of those two cities," Suri added. The New Delhi-based troupe has given a special performance at the Light and Sound Show arena of the Great Pyramids during the opening of the festival on March 31, Indian Zee News reports.
A literary evening “Words on Water: Preserving Cultures”, free yoga classes, as well as a symposium and an exhibition displaying Indian crafts took place from April 2 to will be held on April 2 to 11 in Cairo.
Traditional Indian Manipuri dances presented by 47-yers-old Narmada Khumanthem were staged during the two-day closing ceremony.
India by the Nile did not only introduce Egyptians with Indian culture but also tightened the links between the two nations and deepened the cooperation in different fields, Rakesh Kawra, the director of the Maulana Azad Centre in Cairo, stated, Outlook India magazine reads.