February 6, 2014: unique cultural and historical heritage of Goa came alive at the 28th Surajkund International Crafts Mela with the Chief Minister of Haryana Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda inaugurating the 15 day mela, in the presence of Dy. Chief Minister of Goa Mr. Francis D’Souza, Minister of Tourism Mr. Dilip Parulekar, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Saidbeg Saidov, Minister of Tourism of Buganda Kingdom Ms. Rita Namyalo Kisitu, Chairman of Haryana Tourism Corporation Mr. Chakrvrty Sharma, and Cabinet Ministers of Haryana recently.
The Haryana Chief Minister Hooda inaugurated the cultural extravaganza at a ‘Choupal’ in the mela ground by opening the symbolic window of Goa. Earlier, he cut a ribbon, specially created of coconut leaves at the huge (lifesize) replica of the Viceroy Arch at Old Goa, which led to the Goa theme pavilion.
The dignitaries also went around ‘Casa Goa’, a typical Goan house specially constructed for guests to get a feel of Goan life that most tourists never see. From the architecture to the costumes worn by the residing Goan couple, the furniture, household items and food, there were glimpses of the old customs that are still prevalent in many villages today. There was also a Food Court serving delicious Goan cuisine, beverages and snacks.
Chief Minister Hooda said that after the modest beginning in 1987, Surajkund has become an International Fair and the area has increased to over 40 acres. This year, 18 countries participated in the Mela, which attained the milestone of being an international event last year. He further complimented Goa as the theme state that has created an atmosphere at the Mela that literally transports you to the state and the Mela reflects India’s civilization and culture and has contributed a lot in saving traditional arts and crafts.
The Dy. Chief Minister of Goa D’Souza commented, “We intended to make Goa come alive, to pop-out of the tourism brochures that people are accustomed to seeing and provide a comprehensive Goan experience at the Mela grounds.” He further stated that the state has brought more than 50 of our best artisans to provide guests with an in-depth look at Goa’s rich traditional handicrafts and about 200 artists performing authentic Goan folk dances.
The inauguration concluded with a cultural programme which included a fusion of a number of Goan dances specially choreographed for the Mela. The evening saw a traditional Carnival float led by a jolly King Momo followed by over 150 performing artists dancing in procession, which was a big hit. This Carnival parade will be the highlight of Goa on all 15 days, besides various Goan folk dances which will be performed on all the various stages.
The Chief Minister of Haryana Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, lighting the traditional Goan lamp ‘divli’ to mark the inauguration of the 28th Surajkund International Crafts Mela, Haryana in the presence of Dy. Chief Minister of Goa Mr. Francis D’Souza, Minister of Tourism Mr. Dilip Parulekar, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to India Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Saidbeg Saidov, Minister of Tourism of Buganda Kingdom Ms. Rita Namyalo Kisitu, Chairman of Haryana Tourism Corporation Mr. Chakrvrty Sharma, and Principal Secretary Tourism Haryana Mr. Vijay Vardhan.