India is ‘guest of honour’ at Saudi Arabia’s Janadriyah festival
India will be the “guest of honour” at Saudi Arabia’s National Festival for Heritage and Culture, popularly known as the Janadriyah festival. The 18-day cultural festival will be held under the patronage of King Salman at Janadriyah, 42 km northeast of Riyadh, will be inaugurated on February 7. A high-level ministerial delegation will visit Riyadh for the inaugural ceremony.
A diverse spread of India’s culture and science will be on display at Janadriyah festival, from Bollywood to traditional culture and from classical dance to technological prowess. The Indian pavilion will be embellished with cutting-edge technology displaying the march of India and its growing relations with the Kingdom. A performance of a traditional percussion ensemble will introduce Indian dance and musical genre, which will add to the festive atmosphere.
Aiming to expand its global outreach and find cultural synergies with countries with rich cultural and civilizational heritage and contemporary technical advancement, the Saudi government started inviting a foreign country as the “guest of honor” every year. India’s selection as the “guest of honor” country this year will help further build Saudi-India relations.
“The momentum of warmth and proximity in the bilateral engagement generated by the historic visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Riyadh in April 2016 and his interactions with the Saudi leadership, during which he emphasized upgrading the present Indo-Saudi buyer-seller relationship into a more comprehensive strategic partnership, seems to be the main factor to accord India the privilege of being the guest of honor for Janadriyah 2018,” a press statement from the Indian Embassy in Riyadh said.
India Pavilion will feature cultural performances reflecting classical and contemporary forms of dances, and a series of seminars and B2B interactions. India’s commercial display will be represented by the Ministries of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH); tourism; shipping; textiles (handicrafts); food processing; the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP); the Ordnance Factory Board; and the Department of Space. From the corporate side, several major Indian companies will attend Janadriyah. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) will also organize a seminar on February 11 in association with the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) with a special focus on the food-processing industry and the “Make in India” campaign.
“Our leadership in India and the Embassy of India in Riyadh are delighted to be part of this prestigious festival and extend our sincere thanks to the Saudi leadership for according this unprecedented privilege to our country,” said Ahmed Javed, Indian ambassador in Riyadh.
Saudi authorities have provided an open-air stage, adjacent to the hall of India Pavilion, for cultural performances, which include Bollywood film screenings as well as displays of Arabic calligraphy from Rampur Raza Library.