After India’s culture has successfully invaded Egyptians’ lives, “India by the Nile” has become an annual mega-festival that brings the soul and life of India to Egypt and allows the loyal fans to travel in time and place to one of their most favourite countries, where bright colours, music, and beauty take place. In its fifth round, this year’s festival brings double the joy and fun, as India celebrates 70 years of independence as well as 70 years of diplomatic relations with Egypt.
The fifth round of the festival takes place from 8 March to 27 April, breaking the record of the largest foreign cultural festival in Egypt. The festival’s activities take place in Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said, and Ismalia governorates, bringing different cultural performances and activities to citizens.
“There will be 15 different themes; over fifty shows will be spread over eight weeks and 4 cities in Egypt,” Indian ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya said during a press conference.
This year’s round focuses on youth; this includes a football match between Indians and Egyptians who are below age 16. “We believe that the youth of Egypt will be the bridge between Egypt and India,” the ambassador explained.
The festival also adopts young amateur artistic talents with the “Living Walls-Street Art” activity. Through this activity, prominent Egyptian painter Mohammed Abla, in collaboration with renowned Indian artist Yogesh Saini, will paint one of Cairo’s walls. This will be with the help of young Egyptian school students, who are the winners of last year’s “Glimpses of India” painting competition organised every year by the Embassy of India in Cairo. This will offer a learning platform for the young participants to unleash their talents. The artists and participants will work together to create a celebration of Indian and Egyptian culture through art.
The festival will also commemorate the memory of the remarkable Gandhi through a puppet performance entitled with “The Message of Mahatma Gandhi”, which will redirect his message of peace in a modern simple way.
The festival also organises exhibitions for both Indian and Egyptian handicrafts with the aim of both cultures collaborating on one platform.
“We had a spectacular opening of the crafts festival in the Pyramids, which was considered free propaganda for tourism in Egypt,” the ambassador said.
The conference witnessed the attendance of Samy Mahmoud, the counselor of the Minister of Tourism, who asserted the ministry’s support to such festivals that promote tourism in Egypt, mentioning that the India-Egyptian relationship has been running strongly for a long time.
“The relation between India and Egypt has been very deep since the time of the late president Gamal Abdel Nasser and India’s former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru,” Mahmoud said.
“There are around 100,000 Indian tourists who come to Egypt annually, and we are working to double this number,” he added.
Photos Handout to DNE