North East India festival to promote tourism, culture in Thailand

New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) Scholarly discussions, music and dance performances, and exhibitions of local handicrafts will felicitate tourism and cultural exchange between the North East India and Thailand at the upcoming North East India festival.

The 2nd edition of the festival will also aim to promote business ties between the two countries through B2B (business to business) meets starting from February 21 in Bangkok.

'A team of around 500 people is travelling from North East to Thailand for the 2nd North East India Festival. After successful first edition we are very enthusiastic for the festival which, for the first time, is trying to promote North East India's trade, tourism and culture in Thailand in a methodical way,' Shyamkanu Mahanta, Chief Organizer, North East India Festival, said.

He added that the event is an extension of the Indian government's Act East policy.

The inaugural session will be attended by Thailand's deputy prime minister Jurin Laksanawisit, along with Pema Khandu, Nongthombam Biren Singh, Biplab Kumar Deb, and Conrad Sangma, chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, and Meghalaya respectively, and several other state ministers and industrialists.

Over the course of three days, the event will witness interactions among scholars, historians, students, and academicians as part of a 'People to People Exchange programme' (P2P).

More that 50 students will be travelling from the North East Region to attend the P2P meet and also visit various universities of Thailand. The People to People Exchange Programme will be chaired by Suchitra Durai, Indian Ambassador to Thailand, the organisers said.

The meet will explore conversations among scholars of Tai Ahom, Tai Phake, Tai Singphoh communities of North East who have a strong Thai historic connect.

The festival will also have exhibitions from Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal, Tripura, Nagaland showcasing tourism and trade potential of the various states.

It will showcase the organic fruits and vegetables from the North East along with a presentation of cane and bamboo products, tea and textiles exhibition.

A B2B meet will also be organised where prominent buyers of Thailand will interact with the governments of the North Eastern states, and traders with special focus on cane and bamboo, agro-horti products, tea among others.

Various folk dances of North East including mask dance of Arunachal Pradesh, Bihu dance of Assam, 'raas-leela' from Manipur, 'cheraw' dance of Mizoram, Naga warrior dance will be presented along with the 'khon' dance of Thailand.

Famous Indian singers and bands including Papon, Naga band 'Trance Effect', 'David Angu and The Tribe' from Arunachal Pradesh, 'Soulmate' from Meghalaya and some of the most popular Thai rock bands such as 'Slot Machine' will also perform at the festival. PTI MAH TRS TRS