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South Asian delights at Surajkund from today

From Monday for the next two weeks, the Shekhawati Gate in Surajkund will open to the delights of Rajasthan and the mountains of Tajikistan among other things.

india Updated: Feb 01, 2010 00:32 IST
Prabhu Razdan

From Monday for the next two weeks, the Shekhawati Gate in Surajkund will open to the delights of Rajasthan and the mountains of Tajikistan among other things.

The two-week Surajkund Mela is one of the biggest annual crafts fairs in north India.

Like every year, the fair will showcase work of craftsmen invited from all Indian states and from countries like Tajikistan, Thailand and Egypt.

Vice President Hamid Ansari will inaugurate the fair on Monday.

Rajasthan has returned as the theme state of the fair this year after 21 years.

Tajikistan is the partner country.

Apart from authentic regional cuisine and handicrafts, the fair will also hold folk performances such as Siddi Goma from Gujarat, Brij ki Holi and Charkula from Uttar Pradesh, Bhangra from Punjab, and Been Sapera and Banchari from Haryana.

Dancers from Tajikistan, Egypt and Thailand will also perform at the fair.

“Every possible effort has been made to make this fair a grand success with the participation of more and more people,” said Sujit Banerjee, secretary (Tourism), Government of India.

Surajkund Crafts Mela, conceived in 1987, draws a huge crowd every year.

Over 7 lakh people visited the fair in 2009.

“A team of 25 Sri Lankan academicians is visiting the fair this year to study it with a view to replicate it,” said Banerjee.

“Except Pakistan, almost all the SAARC countries are participating in the fair this year,” said Kasni Anand Arora, principal secretary (tourism), in Haryana government.

Last year also, Pakistan was not part of this fair.

“The issue of invitation to foreign countries in joining this mela is handled by the Ministry of External Affairs,” said Arora.