Surajkund crafts mela opens amid fanfare
The 28th Surajkund International Crafts Mela, which has Goa as its theme State this year, was inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, amid performances by artists from Haryana, Sri Lanka, Goa and Uzbekistan.

The Chief Minister inaugurated the cultural extravaganza at a ‘chaupal’ in the Mela ground by opening the symbolic window of Goa in the presence of the State’s Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza.

With Sri Lanka being the ‘partner country’ this year, its High Commissioner to India, Prasad Karlyawasam, and Chairman of National Crafts Council of Sri Lanka Budhikeerti Sinna were also present.

The mela showcases the richness and diversity of handicrafts, handloom works and cultural heritage of India every year, Mr. Hooda said.

It had gained international status, with about 20 countries participating in it. There were 735 work huts for the craftsmen participating in the mela, he said.

This year, craftspersons, weavers, cultural troupes and artists from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Portugal, Iran, Uganda, Brazil, Ivory Coast, Thailand and SAARC nations Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan are participating in the mela.

Goa, the theme State

It is for the second time, after 12 years, that Goa has become the theme State. Folk dances, colourful floats and live processions from the State will add to the charm of the mela.

Others present at the inauguration ceremony included Goa Minister of Tourism Dilip Parulekar, Chairman of Haryana Tourism Corporation Chakravarty Sharma, Haryana Minister of State for Information, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs Shiv Charan Lal Sharma and Faridabad MP Avtar Singh Badana.