Bengaluru: The fourth edition of the North East Festival promises to be extra special. The Karnataka Tourism Department has extended support to the event and will be partially sponsoring it. The festival is to be held on February 4 and 5 at Ravindra Kalakshetra.
“It is not so much about the money. The government coming in support of the event is in itself a big success for us. The recognition is what matters most,” said Rini Ralte, the president of Northeast Solidarity, an association of people from North Eastern states residing in Bengaluru.
The partnership was formed in August last year, after the third edition. “We have a large North Eastern community here. We wanted to support their effort to showcase their culture and, in the process, also showcase ours to them. We felt the event can be a cross-cultural exchange platform. Also, Bengaluru has been called the most dynamic city in the world. It is both adaptable and welcoming to all and the partnership will help us promote this facet of the city,” said Priyank Kharge, State Tourism Minister.
‘Xperience North East’ was started in 2015 as a way to connect people from the North East living in the city with the locals. “We formed the association in 2012, after the exodus of thousands of North East people following threats of attack, to attend to crisis and address problems faced by the community. In 2015, we felt that we need to go beyond this to involve the local community to forge better understanding,” said Rini Ralte.
The event will showcase music, dance, fashion shows, games and food from the North Eastern States. “We want to revive traditional games, such as the bamboo race and Kawi-Kah (similar to the game of marbles in other parts of the country). So, we are introducing traditional games this year,” said Ms. Ralte, who has been living in the city for 23 years.
Another highlight will be the food stalls that will be open for the entire duration of the festival.