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Naga folk dance enthralls Dilli Haat
Published on 11 Oct. 2010 12:09 AM IST
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A good part of the Commonwealth Games bustle and celebration is outside the stadia. While the sporting spirit finds expression in swimming pools, wrestling arenas and hockey fields, the artistic one is taking over at historical sites and other designated spots where art, music and handicraft from different parts of India are being showcased. The ever-popular Dilli Haat is no exception and on Friday, Nagaland was in the spotlight at the ‘Festival of India’ here.
The ongoing celebrations at south Delhi’s indigenous craft hub have already witnessed Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat showcasing their crafts and culture. Gurjarati shawls and saris in riotous colours; intricately woven Sambalpuri saris and dress materials of Orissa; the rich tussar, Benarsi and Murshidabad silks of Bihar, Benaras and Bengal respectively; and vibrant Jaipuri block prints — all are displayed at Dilli Haat awash with myriad hues.
However, the Haat now is not just for shopping or eating. There are cultural programmes galore. Friday, it was Nagaland’s turn. Student groups from the tribes of Ao, Sumi, Lotha, Angami, Rengma, Zeliang and from eastern Nagaland performed folk dances. The Lotha students added a skit at the set of performances that had Nagaland MP C M Chang as chief guest.
“There’s special food like thukpa, momo and traditional rice from Manipur, Assam, Sikkim and Nagaland,’’ said Kuolie Mere, a Nagaland state government official. Handicrafts of Northeast states — cane furniture, bamboo baskets, lamp shades, decorative flowers and woollens — were on display and many foreign tourists thronged the stalls for souvenirs.
Jim from Canada is touring India for the first time but he isn’t completely new to the country and its ways, having many Indian friends back home. “I’ve heard so many things about Indian culture that I had to make this trip,’’ says Jim. He picked up a few trinkets and bead jewellery for his three daughters and one son after enquiring of master craftsman of wooden jewellery and artifacts from Jaipur, Prithvi Raj Kumawat, whether his creations can be worn by both men and women.
J McClellan from Scotland quietly peered into an array of wooden boxes of different sizes, closely studied the kantha silk work and terracotta pots from West Bengal. “These are so beautiful and intricate. I can’t decide what to pick and what not to,’’ said a wide-eyed McClellan.
Earlier on Thursday, October 7, it was Bihar on the centrestage. The craft festival will continue till October 13 with Saturday’s schedule including programmes from the north-central states Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh showcasing their art, craft and culture.

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