There was a reason for people walking tall: they were on stilts. They strode around the colourful tents, which saw a series of activities. The special cultural programmes were held at the main pavilion.
Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, who inaugurated the 10-day Indo-German Urban Mela on Friday at Palace Grounds, was part of the audience that witnessed a short performance as part of the curtain raiser, Masala FX.
Over the next 10 days, the urban mela offers visitors a slice of German art and culture. There will be language workshops, concerts and film screenings to keep visitors occupied and get them interested in German culture. A separate pavilion has been set up to give visitors a taste of German cuisine.
Speaking at the inauguration, Mr. Gowda said that Germany and Karnataka have enjoyed a special relationship down the years. He recalled the services of the German missionaries’ role in propagating Kannada language and culture in the State. “Though the missionaries were from a foreign land, they spent the major part of their service in Karnataka. This urban mela helps Karnataka and Germany strengthen this relationship.”
German Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that the mela was the centrepiece of Germany In India – 2011-12: Infinite Opportunities, organised to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It also hopes to address the problem of urbanisation. “Currently, 60 per cent of the population lives in rural areas in India. In 20 years’ time, 250 million more people are likely to move to the cities from rural areas. Germany offers great solutions to this universal problem of urbanisation. We look forward to many more years of partnership,” he said.
Mr. Westerwelle said the German philosophy was to have a sustainable partnership between equals. “It is not enough to have just a good business relationship; we want to forge a relationship with people, especially the young generation.”
Clas Neumann, Senior Vice-President and Global Head, SAP Labs, said the mela would help both Germany and India address challenges. “We can [do it] together. Global practices should meet local needs,” he said.
Keywords: Indo-German Urban Mela