Goa will display its vast and impressive cultural wealth, heritage and traditions as the theme state at Haryana's Surajkund International Crafts Mela, which starts from February 1.
The Goan delegation will be led by deputy chief minister Francis D'Souza and comprise tourism minister Dilip Parulekar and Goa Tourism Development Corporation chairman Nilesh Cabral.
A Goan contingent of 170 artisans left the state on January 26 to participate in the 28th Surajkund Mela.
The Goa tourism department wants to project the state as a heritage and cultural destination and promote local artists by giving them international exposure, Parulekar said.
"As the theme state, Goa will take the opportunity to highlight its varied arts and crafts, turning the spotlight on its unique blend of western and local influences. The Goan group comprises 54 artisans selected by Goa Handicrafts Rural and Small Scale Industries Corporation, and 116 performing artistes," a senior tourism official said. The artistes will display their skills and sell handicrafts that include terracotta, pottery, shell art, coconut craft, hand embroidery and crochet.
Besides, the artistes will perform traditional Goan dances, including lamp dance, Tarang Mel, Corridinho, Marcha de Fontainhas, Kalashi Fugdi, Gauda Dhalo, Kunbi, Ghode Modni Dasara -Vadan and Morulo, during the 15-day fair.
The highlight of the fair will be the very popular Goan Carnival and Shigmo parades that will be put up by the performing artists.
Over ten lakh foreign and domestic tourists are expected to visit the mela.