Chariot inauguration ceremony heralds Festival of India-Lagos
In a build up to the first Festival of India in Nigeria, hundreds of thrilled Indians and Nigerians trooped to Guaurapad Charities, Maryland, Lagos, last Sunday for the Chariot inauguration ceremony.
The beautifully decorated chariots, an ancient tradition from India, provide the central spectacle of Festival of India, which has an impact on the minds, and hearts of its countless visitors and active participants in major cities worldwide. It is the grand culmination of a series of celebrations spread over the summer and monsoon months in India.
The three decorated chariots were given to various groups from India and Nigeria to see who would make the best design on the chariots. They have seven days for the decorations, and thereafter, the winner would be announced.
Chariots festival was taken to Europe in the sixties by A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami, and is now celebrated annually in major cities worldwide, notably in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Durban.
The event featured dances from different groups in India: Pride of India, Light Year, Starron house, Punjabi house, Yoga (HSS), Aditi, Odissi dance group and Voices of Children.
Founder of Gaurapad Charities and co-chairman of Festival of India Organising Committee, Mr. Bolaji Rosiji, said, “The Festival of India is not only about fashion, jewelry, culture and Bollywood. There is a higher purpose. We are using the festival platform to forge diplomatic, cultural and commercial ties with the world’s fastest growing economy, India”.
Co-chairman of the Festival Organizing Committee, Mr. Diwesh Mishra, reminded the audience that the festival would include a colourful display of various Indian costumes, dressing and groups representing different states in India as well as cultural groups from Nigeria.
“This is in line with the overriding goal of the festival which is “Celebrating Cultural Unity and Diversity for national and global peace – vasudhaiva kutumbakam -the world is one family.”
Festival of India, scheduled to hold on August 13, will feature performances from traditional and contemporary music stars from India and Nigeria such as multiple-award winner Anup Jalota (Emperor of songs), Bollywood Diva Yuvika Chaudhary, Nigerian superstar, Davido, fuji maestro Pasuma Wonder, gospel star, Sammy Okposo, legendary flutist, Tee Mac, renowned female talking drummer, Ara, as well as other rising stars, dancers and dramatic artists.