May 6, 2016

World is not enough

A vibrant confluence of cultures and languages is going to hit the Indian shores for the first time with the fourteenth edition of International Festival of Languages and Culture going to take place in the Capital.

For Vanessa, a young student from Hungary, the last few weeks have been full of excitement at the prospect of visiting India with her friends and meeting other students like her from India and other countries. Like her, many other students visiting the country this week are excited and curious to explore Indian culture, cuisine and of course, the kaleidoscopic city of Delhi.

As you might wonder, they are not backpackers from abroad coming to India for fulfilling their wanderlust but young schoolchildren who are set to perform together to promote the universal message of brotherhood and harmony. The students will showcase their talent through cultural display of singing and dancing at the fourteenth International Festival of Language and Culture to be held on May 7 at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi.

The Sanskrit proverb Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means the world is a family is at the heart of the festival, and is also the theme for the festival to be held in India for the very first time.

With the 21st century, making us all citizens of the globe by the omnipresent internet which is a crucial part of the contemporary lives, we have certainly become digitally connected but what about the peculiar human connect? The world seems to be on the verge of losing this very humanistic trait which is the core of our existence. For this, the foundation of the festival was laid back in the year 2003 with the aim of getting young children from multiple and diverse cultures across the world together on a shared platform to showcase their talents in music and dance and interact with each other.

Addressing the media Bilal Ackigoz, one of the coordinators of the IFLC 2016, said, “We believe that understanding different languages and cultures helps us understand each other better, and that is the motive behind IFLC.” He also added, “I would like to share that in India we have seen tremendous talent and potential in the local students. They deserve serious attention of global educational and cultural organizations.”

Ameeta Mulla Wattal, spokesperson IFLC 2016 said, “IFLC brings a collective consciousness by bringing youth together from across the world through music, dance and culture.” Seconds Tatiana, a student from Russia, participating at the festival, “There is no better way to get so many children together from so many different countries than to celebrate their music and dance. Music is, after all a universal language and knows no boundaries. I have always wanted to come to India and I am delighted to perform here with my friends from around the world.” But it’s not just the thrill of performing that these children love, it’s also the opportunity to make new friends that they look out for. “I made some really good friends while performing at the festival last year in Romania and I’m still in touch with them over Facebook,” said Raavi, an Indian student from Delhi who will also be participating at the Festival this year.

What is most astonishing is that these students do not seem to mind the summer heat in the city and are extremely enthusiastic about performing at the festival and we may just end up watching some future musicians and rock stars in the making.

Published on The Pioneer, 5 May 2016, Thursday