Three-week festival of India in Israel

New Delhi: A three-week festival of India is on in Israel, showing the best of India`s rich traditional and contemporary heritage.

`Celebrating India in Isreal` opened April 30 in Tel Aviv with a gala reception by Indian ambassador Navtej Sarna, the Israel embassy here said.

Israel`s Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz was the chief guest. This is the first cultural festival of India in Israel.

Speaking at the opening reception, Sarna placed the festival in the context of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of India-Israel relations and underlined the importance of cultural contacts in the development of bilateral relations.

Steinitz underlined the importance placed by Israel on the relationship with India, particularly in trade.

Guests were entertained by a miniature Bollywood workshop by dancer Gilles Chuyen.

A panorama of new and old Indian films will entertain audiences in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

People will also have the opportunity to listen to veteran Bollywood actress Sharmila Tagore.

On May 12, Indian and Israeli authors will engage in a day-long dialogue on issues that have preoccupied literature of both countries.