Insurgence to resurgence: A glimpse of the exotic Northeastern lifestyle, cuisine and culture

  • A Sarwar Borah, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 06, 2014 14:06 IST

Celebrating the vibrant culture and lifestyle of the eight Northeastern states, the second edition of the North East Festival (NEF) in the Capital will be held November 7-10 at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts. The theme of this year's festival is 'insurgence to resurgence', and aims at exploring opportunities to attract investments and promote tourism apart from the regular dose of dance, music and food. The scale of the festival is grander this year.

Principal organiser Shyamkanu Mahanta of Trend MMS, a socio-cultural trust, says, "Last year, the festival was of two days, this time it will be for four days. The carnival will be bigger, with 30 musical bands, 25 dance troupes, fashion shows and more food stalls. We are adding more components like an art and photography exhibition, screening films from the Northeast and exhibition and sale of Northeast handloom and handicrafts. It will also witness 10 discussion sessions on issues concerning the region."

At a time, when there is a spurt in racial crimes in Delhi, Shyamkanu feels this festival will help in easing the differences.

(From L to R): Joy Singh, Zubeen Garg, Yana Ngoba and Mary Kom from last year’s festival (Photo: Waseem Gashroo/HT)

"Co-organiser of the festival- the Northeast community, Delhi, comprising student organisations- are visiting different resident welfare associations in the city and inviting them to the festival," he says. 

"A session on integrating Northeast through education, chaired by Union Minister for HRD Smriti Irani, will be conducted during the festival. We are also organising quiz competitions on the Northeast in DU, JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia to create awareness about the area," he adds.

Bollywood playback singer Zubeen Garg of Ya Ali fame, who rocked the stage last year, will be seen at the fest this year too.

Smoked chicken and pork on sale at last year’s fest (Photo: Waseem Gashroo/HT)

Garg says, "The joy of performing at NEF is that the entire Northeast, comprising different colourful tribes and communities, cheers together to promote the culture."

This festival also means a chance to indulge in delicacies such as smoked chicken, fish and sesame pork curry. Chef Atul Lahkar, who has done TV shows with the likes of Gordan Ramsay and Vikas Khanna, and credited for the resurgence of ethnic cuisine, will attend this year's festival too.

He delighted the Delhi palates last year with his onion-sans chicken curry made of a traditional Assamese herb and white basil leaf.

Catch it live
What: North East Festival
Where: IGNCA ground
When: November 7 to 10
Timings: 11 am to 10 pm
Nearest metro station: Janpath on Violet Line

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