Promoting cultural activities for deepening of intercultural understanding, the Consulate General of India in Frankfurt organised a cultural extravaganza, the Indien Fest, in the historic city of Cologne on 29th June.
Organized in cooperation with Indian associations and support from the Cologne city authorities, the Indien Fest attracted huge crowds including foreign tourists, local Germans and the Indian community from the North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) region.
The fest was organised at one of the centrally located Platz in Cologne, Neumarkt which saw footfall from tourists as well who were drawn in huge numbers to the Indian music and food stalls.
Deputy Mayor of Cologne Ms. Elfi Scho-Antwerpes inaugurated the official part of the Fest as the Chief Guest. She spoke highly of the Indian community living in Cologne and praised the efforts of the Consulate in bringing them together.
The festival entailed more than 30 cultural performances showcasing dance and musical traditions of different states of India. Bollywood numbers as well as classical dance performances had the crowds applauding and dancing along.
Several Indian associations based in the NRW region also put up food stalls where more than 250 varieties of dishes were made available. Culinary delicacies from different regions of India saw huge popularity amongst the attendees who were also welcomed in the traditional Indian manner with Tilak and a local Indian Mithai.
Saree draping sessions, henna stalls and photos booths with cut-outs of Taj Mahal were some of the major attractions.
Performing at the event was the Maharaj Trio, a renowned instrumental trio of classical Indian music in sarod , sitar and tabla . The three musicians, father and two sons, come from a North Indian musical family in Varanasi , whose musical tradition goes back approximately 500 years in the oral transmission.
The Indian associations also put up stalls for Indian handicrafts from different regions of India which saw huge popularity amongst the attendees. The Indien Fest, organised for the first time on this huge a scale in Cologne, showcased beautifully the unity in cultural diversity through the coming together of the several Indian associations in putting up this grand cultural extravaganza.