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Swedish writers delve into colours of Kerala

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EXPLORING KERALA: The team of Swedish writers with poet Balachandran Chullikad. Photo: H. Vibhu
EXPLORING KERALA: The team of Swedish writers with poet Balachandran Chullikad. Photo: H. Vibhu

Officially, the team of Swedish poets and writers had been touring the State to release the Malayalam translations of their works. But it was not ready to go back without getting a feel of the land that had come forward to receive their works.

And so, the team walked along the crowded Broadway in Kochi, filled with people and lots of colours and scents. "Back home, it is only dark figures against snow's white. The colours of this land has been overwhelming for us," said Elisabeth Rynell, one of the leading feminist poets of Sweden.

Guiding them along the alleys of Kochi was their friend Balachandran Chullikad, poet. "We became friends when I visited Stockholm in 1997. We have been in regular touch since then."

Chullikad remembers that Rynell flew down from her village to meet him at Stockholm.

Birgitta Wallim, an editor, was instrumental in getting Chullikad's poems translated to Swedish.

Tomas Lofstrom, writer and journalist, was the leader of the team, which had three more poets: Staffan Soderblom, Eva Runefelt and Ann Jaderlund.

The team had come on a cultural exchange programme by the Indo-Swedish Translation Project or Indian Library, as it is known in Sweden. Started in 1988, the project provides a forum for writers, translators and publishers from India and Sweden. On Thursday, the team members headed to Kerala Kalamandalam to have closer interactions with colour and theatre.

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