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India-Nepal Folk Crafts Festival 2019 held at Chhaya Center

The India-Nepal Folk Crafts Festival 2019 was held from March 30 to April 03 at Chhaya Center, Thamel. This five days’ event was aimed at promoting crafts based bilateral relations to uplift cultural exchange between India and Nepal. The exhibition, which was organized by South Asia Foundation (SAF) and South Asia Foundation-Nepal (SAF-Nepal) in collaboration with Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Government of India; was supported by Council of Handicrafts Development Corporations, India, Embassy of India - Kathmandu, Embassy of Nepal - New Delhi, B P Koirala India-Nepal Foundation, Honda and Nepal SBI Bank Limited.

The Festival had altogether 66 stalls comprising of 20 stalls from artisans of Nepal and 46 stalls from India including 25 Scheduled Caste Artisans, one of the most disadvantaged communities of India. The stalls showcased themes like applique work, hand printed textiles, embroidery and crocheted goods, leather wares, patch work and handloom textiles, zari works, metal wares, hand block printing, chicken work textiles, jewelry, patta painting, Mithila painting, cane and bamboo crafts, Kullu textiles and crafts, and stone work art.

The event was inaugurated by Honorable Krishna Bahadur Mahara, Speaker of the House of Representatives in the presence of the Guest of Honor H.E. Sh. Manjeev Singh Puri, Hon'ble Ambassador of India to Nepal. Honorable MatrikaYadav, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supply and Honorable Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Minister of Forest and Environment were among the other dignitaries present there. Inaugurating the event, Mahara said “People-to-people relations contribute to strengthen the bond between the two countries at all times.”

“Cross-cultural festival like this provides a wider platform to artisans to exchange ideas and promote trade collaboration between the two countries. The festival has given an opportunity for collaboration between Nepal and India for a larger cooperation in the field of arts and crafts,” said Rahul Barua, Secretary General of South Asia Foundation.

The event was also visited by Honorable Madhav Kumar Nepal, former Prime Minister of Nepal, respected leader Pradeep Giri and Ratnesh Kumar Jha, Additional Development Commissioner of Government of India on the 4th day of the event. Beside the exhibition of the crafts and artifacts, the event also hosted different cultural shows, food stalls, live demonstration by artisans, workshop and interactions sessions. Like the event’s past editions, this year’s event is also considered to have made an impressive history in creating a mutual platform for cultural exchange between the two neighboring countries.