Odisha art and culture festival witnesses high turnout of foreigners

Raghurajpur (Odisha): An art and culture festival hosted by the Odisha Government in Raghurajpur village witnessed a high turnout of foreigners, who have poured in from across the globe to learn various art forms like wood craft and palm leaf etching, among others.

The festival named Raghurajpur International Art and Craft Exchange (RIACE) 2012 saw participation by over 25 foreign artists, who have specially come to the heritage crafts village to learn folk and traditional art forms.

Artists from US, UK, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Philippines, Lithuania, Denmark and many other countries are staying in the village for a month to completely immerse themselves in the art and culture of the state.

Kshitish Das, the coordinator of the festival, while interacting with a reporter on Wednesday (October 31) said that there has been an overwhelming response to the event.

"This is a huge and a big international and national art and culture exchange program. In this program, from 13 countries, more than 25 artists have participated. They are learning about Orissa`s art and culture," he said.

The event also serves as a platform for the exchange of ideas among artists and those interested in the field.

A foreigner from USA, Carol Hummel, said that she was keen to learn more about Indian art, as she had also held an exhibition of paintings in the UK.

"I have come here to learn more about the crafts of India. I love India and I had an exhibition this year in London of Indian paintings. So, I want to come back and learn more from all these great skilled artists," she said.

Another visitor from Scotland, Letti Blackett, said that they are here in the country to learn several kinds of performing arts, so it is a thrilling experience for them.

"This year, we are doing all types of art, including performance. We have a harmonium player and a sitar and tabla, which is exciting for someone from the United States to come and learn that kind of music. We have dancers also, two learning Odissi and one learning horse dance and Naga dance. So, it is very exciting," she said.

The aim of the event was to have a large number of skilled people living and working in this village to teach the art to contemporary artists from other parts of the world.


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