The International Children's Festival brings cheer
Held over four days recently, the International Children's Festival of Performing Arts was full of colour, fun and vigour. Beginning with a peace march, it also had children painting buses in the colours of peace. The march was more like a baraat or procession with the students in their traditional outfits dancing to the beats of drums and dhol.
The ceremony at Bal Bhavan began on an auspicious note with students from all countries coming together in a wonderful rendition of ‘Vande mataram.' It was followed by an invocation of the peace gods by Ryan International students, and ‘Shwet', a ballet by children of the same school. The festival saw some marvellous performances by the students from all over. The Latvian group dressed in long frocks and wearing flower crowns spread laughter with their folk performance. The groovy hip hop moves from Switzerland, pot dance by Sri Lanka dancers and jugular antics on a unicycle by performers from Germany left the audiences asking for more. The play “Be-Zubaan” by Rukhsana Khan from Mandwa theatre of Pakistan highlighted the plight of stray animals. “The culture of both countries is very similar. I have been welcomed with open arms and I don't feel like a stranger here,” said Taimur, who played a lion in “Be-Zubaan.”
“It is definitely a performing arts festival but the larger aim is to go beyond the performances. Such events give children an opportunity to interact and understand each other's cultures,” said Utkarsh Marwah, festival director.
“We have also included activities like the cultural village, where students put up stalls of specialities from their country or State. Then there was the white T-shirt day where students and adults wrote peace slogans on each other's T-shirts as a memento to take back home. Thus, we are trying to sow the seeds of peace and harmony at the basic level,” he concluded.