Today the world is looking upon India as the IT Powerhouse. In addition India’s Soft Power through various Art Forms, with Bollywood claiming the top spot. Under the auspices of the Indian Consulate Frankfurt, Germany, a mega cultural event was organised on 29th June at Newmarket Square (famous for its Christmas Market) in Cologne in the state of Nord Rhine West fallen (NRW). The event was named ‘Indian Fest 2019’.
The Deputy Mayor of Cologne, Frau.Scho-Antwerpes, officially inaugurated the Festival in her capacity as one of the Chief Guests showered laurels on the Cologne Indian Community. Ms Prathibha Parkar, the Consul General, Frankfurt Indian Consulate also graced the occasion and gave her introductory speech. The Friends of India Coordinator from Cologne Mr Saravanan Jayabalan also spoke on the occasion.
Mr Saravanan, supported by an army of volunteers from the Indian Associations and Student Groups and Association in NRW worked together with the Indian Consulate and were instrumental in planning and executing the entire day’s events.
The festivities started at around 12 Noon and went up to 7 PM. Although, it was one of those rare harsh German Summer Days, the Neumarkt square was teeming with people in thousands which includes the usual tourists from different parts of the World, local Germans who normally come for shopping on a Saturday at the Schilder Gasse and of course the Indian Community from the nook and corner of NRW and also from the nearby State of Hessen.
As the visitors entered into the Neumarkt Square, a big Ganesha Idol was the cynosure of all eyes and became an instant Selfie Point. In addition, the photo booths with the Taj Mahal portrait in the background and another booth to try out Indian Sarees were an instant hit with the guests.Men and women from the Indian Community attired in traditional Sarees and traditional dresses. Both sides of the Neumarkt Square were lined-up with Food Stalls and other Stalls selling Handicrafts from different Indian regions.
The crowd stood enthralled by around 35 Performances show casing different Classical, Folk and Free style dance forms of India, thereby exhibiting India’s famed Unity in Diversity. One of the highlights was the performance by the “Maharaja Trio” who had travelled all the way from India. Some of the events that kept the audience in raptures were the Classical Dance forms like Bharat Natyam, Kathak etc. and folk dance forms like Bangra, Peacock Dance, Poikal Kuthira etc. and foot tapping Bollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood and Tollywood numbers.
Supplementing the colourful events, the guests got the opportunity to taste the varied Indian cuisine in the different Food Stalls. Out of the 250 odd varieties of Indian Food items that were in display, items like Gulab Jamun, Rosgulla, Chats, Cutlet, Dosa, Idly, savouries, traditional Juice varieties etc. sold like hot cakes.
All the Participants, Coordinators and Volunteers received a certificate of participation. As the curtains finally fell on the Indian Fest, the event organizers, participants, volunteers left the Neumarkt Square with a sense of achievement. At the same time, the trees in the Neumarkt Square stood shining in the late evening Sun as a testimony to the colourful events of the day.