Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture kicks off at Katara

This post was originally published on 5 February 2019.

The Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture was launched Friday with the award-winning ‘Ticket to Bollywood’ performance at the Opera House of Katara Cultural Village. This comes as part of Qatar Museums’ Years of Culture initiative.

Dramatic and eye-catching, the three-part production enthralled the capacity crowd taking  them on a journey to Ancient India, Traditional India and Modern India through ancient and traditional dances including the great Indian wedding stitched through Bollywood songs and dances, The Peninsula reported.

The opening ceremony was attended by QM acting CEO Ahmad Al-Namla, Ministry of Culture and Sports representative Faleh Mubarak Al-Ajlan Al-Hajiri, Indian ambassador P Kumaran, other diplomats from various countries and a large number of VIP guests.

Launched in 2012 by QM chairperson HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Years of Culture initiative aims to introduce Qatar’s rich cultural offerings to partner countries, all the while bringing local audiences a taste of some of the world’s most exciting and inspiring cultural acts.

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Indian Ambassador Kumaran said the ‘Year of Culture’ assumes a special significance for India, as this is also the 70th Year of India’s arrival as a republic.

“We are also marking the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, father of the nation. These celebrations indeed offer our two countries a unique opportunity of renewing and revitalising our special bonds of cultural heritage and help enhance the quality of our engagement at the people-to-people level.”

He also said there will be a number of performances in the coming days which include fashion shows, cultural performances, musicals and exhibitions among others.

“We will have a musical evening by the famous Bollywood composers Vishal-Shekhar. We are trying to organise a combined performance of the duo with the celebrated Qatari singer Fahad al-Kubaisi.

In March, Katara Studios is organising a mega-music event which will witness a performance by Oscar Award-winning Indian composer A R Rehman, who will record some compositions in partnership with the famous Qatari composer Dana Alfardan,” Kumaran said.

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QM acting CEO Ahmad Al-Namla highlighted the importance and objectives of the initiative. “The Years of Culture programme aims to build bridges of mutual understanding between nations through an exchange of art, culture and heritage,” Gulf Times reported him as having said.

“This year, we are pleased to partner with India. It is impossible to touch upon all the aspects of India’s rich culture and heritage in this limited time provided to me; however, if I had to describe it in one word it would be ‘diversity a rich diversity of both landscapes and history. At the same time, I cannot forget the important and close relationship that our two countries share, particularly considering that a large Indian community resides in Qatar and calls it home,” he added.

A group of students from Birla Public School also staged a stunning performance at the event showcasing the beauty and diversity of India through traditional dances representing different Indian states.

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