Surajkund Mela 2024: Explore global fusion of art, cultures, crafts, cuisines

A confluence of diverse cultures, the Surajkund International Crafts Mela is witnessing a heavy footfall with the visitors having the choice to shop handicrafts, witness cultural performances, exhibition and relish an array of cuisine.

Artists perform during a parade at the 37th Surajkund International Crafts Mela, in Faridabad. Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2024: Explore global fusion of art, cultures, handicrafts, culinary delights (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)

Tanzania is the partner country and Gujarat is the theme state for this year’s mela, which was inaugurated by President Droupadi Murmu on February 2.

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Nearly 40 countries including Tanzania are taking part in the Mela, officials said.

The fair is expected to attract more than a million visitors when it concludes on Sunday.

Art and crafts cut across borders and build bridges of understanding, President Murmu had said after inaugurating the crafts fair.

At the fair’s Virasat Cultural Exhibition, the stall welcomes the visitors with ‘Pagdi Bandhao, Photo Khinchao’, as they happily wear the ‘Haryanvi Pagdi’ and click photos.

Director of the exhibition, Virasat, Mahasingh Poonia said that the ‘Haryanvi Pagdi’ is gaining popularity at the mela, and people click selfies with traditional things related to the villages of Haryana, some of which have become rare in use in modern times.

Iron, brass and wooden bells used for cows, buffaloes, elephants, and carts are also displayed at the mela.

At the exhibition, wooden blocks used for printing, and the measurement scales used in rural areas for measuring grains and oil in the pre-Independence era, are also on display.

In the 37th edition of the mela this year, apart from Tanzania, people are also getting a glimpse of African culture in the stalls put up by other nations from the continent.

Cotton dresses, leather bags and accessories and handmade paintings are being liked by visitors, says Tanzanian craftsperson Grace Mihigo.

Another craftsperson from Togo said that jewellery are also drawing visitors while some other stalls from other African nations are wooing visitors with jute products, woodcraft and pottery items.

At the fair’s ‘Chaupal’, cultural performances are attracting visitors’ attention.

Managing Director of Haryana Tourism Corporation, Neeraj Kumar, who is also Chief Administrator of Surajkund Mela Authority, said for the visitors the fair has been an immersive experience featuring regional and international crafts, handlooms, and culinary delights from around the world.

Each year, the fair is hosted by the Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture, External Affairs and the Haryana government.

The mela was held for the first time in 1987 to showcase the richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms and the cultural heritage of India.

Later, it was upgraded to an international level in 2013.

This year, eight states from the north-east — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura — are participating as cultural partners.

The theme state Gujarat has also created an ‘Apna Ghar’ to showcase the traditional lifestyle of the Gujarati households offering glimpses for those who want to soak in the cultural vibes at the mela.

A number of competitions are organised for school students across the mela duration.

Officials said exporters and buyers meet is organised during the Mela that offers a ready support system for crafts persons to access and tap the export market.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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