Will ‘Maximum India’ will replace the slogan ‘Incredible India’
Mesmerizing music and dance performances on the Potomac river, incredible and unimaginable crafts from exquisite collections, jewels from the Mughals and Maharajas era and much more at “Maximum India”, the twenty days cultural extravaganza.
In 2002, Government of India launched an integrated marketing campaign – “Incredible India” to promote India as a tourist destination. Nevertheless, the Incredible India campaign has been really effective and able to attract lots of foreign tourists in India. But still, considering the size of the country, diversity and tourist attraction, there is lot of potential to increase the number of foreign tourists in India. Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) increased to 5.58 million in 2010 from 5.11 million in 2009 in India, as per Ministry of Tourism. India is a vast country with 1.2 billion people in 28 states, speaks 24 official languages, has 1,600 dialects, more than 330,000,000 gods and goddesses and above all savors many cuisines.
With the aim to showcase the brand “India”, similar campaigns like Incredible India are needed. Kennedy Center and the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) have planned a 20-day festival “Maximum India” from March 1st to 20th, 2011 in Washington DC, USA for this same purpose. The festivals will highlight the many wonderful and unusual aspects of the country’s diverse arts and culture, from folk to classical and contemporary.
For last 5 years, USA is the leading country for foreign tourist arrivals in India, according to Bureau of Immigration. In 2009, it contributed more than 15% share of total tourist arrivals in India. Moreover, according to Gallup’s annual World Affairs survey (February 2010), India is among the top six nations which are favored by the Americans. Interestingly, three in four young American adults view India as a favorable country. Thus, an event showcasing Indian culture and heritage is likely to attract large number of tourists from American continents.
At Maximum India festival, famous artists from India will delight audience with dance, music, and theater perfomrance. The key motive is to startle the auidence with the majesty and mystery of its culture. Other key activities will include screening of famous bollywood movies, interaction with authors, and exhibitions of crafts, sarees, the gem palace collection. There is also special exhibition of fans collected from all over the world (Pankha-s) and a guided tour of ‘The Crafts of India.’
There will performances by world famous artistes, Anushka Shankar, Zakir Hussain, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Piano prodigy Utsav Lal, rock band Parikrama, and the Bollywood singer Kailash Kher, Washington DC’s own ghazal queen Vatsala Mehra, and US based bhangra-rap DJ Punjabi MC. Other performances include Sharmila Biswas’s group of Odissi choreographic work from Kolkata, Tanushree Shankar’s choreographic work ‘The Child’ the poem of Tagore in English from Kolkata, Kerala Kalamandalam’s Kathakali, Classical vocal music by Rajan and Sajan Mishra from New Delhi, Manganiyar Rajasthani Folk Music from Jodhpur.
No festival can be completed without the taste of local cuisine and food. There will be sepcial arrangement for feasts of Indian food prepared by 12 award-winning Indian chefs, including Hemant Oberoi and Ananda Solomon, representing the four corners of the country to provide diners with a gastronomic journey through Indian cuisine for the entire three-week period of the festival.
“Maximum India may not be on the same scale as the Festival of India, but it is a major effort to display the creativity, fervor, and dynamism that characterizes Indian arts.”
Ms. Meera Shankar, India’s ambassador to the US.
It is going to be one of the major Festivals of Indian Arts in recent times. Not only Indian Diaspora, but the American audiences are eagerly waiting to relish the Indian arts. There are many free events along with ticketed performances, ranging from $10 – $100.
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