India and France have shared friendly ties for centuries and to promote people to people contacts between the two countries, a cultural festival showcasing a multitude of Indian art forms will take place in France under the banner of ‘Namasté France’ cultural festival. Indian traditional arts, music, dance, theatre, literature, cinema, and fashion will be showcased during the two-and-a-half month long festival in France. Embassy of India, Paris with the support of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi is organising Namaste France cultural festival from 15 September to 30 November 2016.Namaste France festival was inaugurated by His Excellency Dr. Mohan Kumar, Ambassador of India to France, in the prestigious venue La Villette in Paris. Speaking on this occasion, he said, " No two countries share such a special cultural relationship as France and India, while both countries are proud of their culture, they are open to the appreciation of other cultures. Namaste France is a wonderful opportunity to boost the vitality of our cultural exchanges. It is a reflection of the growing partnership between the two countries."
Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan with his sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash and Kathak exponent Kumudini Lakhia and her troupe enthralled the Parisians. More than 2000 people attended the inaugural event and were mesmerized by the visual grandeur of the opening ceremony. Prof. Sunaina Singh, Vice President of ICCR, representatives of French Government, Senators, Deputies, eminent personalities from public life and other friends of India attended the grand opening concert.During the festival, 70 events representing India’s rich civilizational and cultural heritage will be organised in various major cities of France including Paris, Strasbourg, Nice, Nantes, Marseilles, Lyon, Aix-en-Provence, Saint-Tropez, Tourcoing etc and in the French overseas territories like Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin and the Reunion Island. These events will showcase Indian culture in the fields of music, dance, theatre, cinema, art exhibitions, cuisine, spirituality, yoga and Ayurveda etc. reflecting the Indian ethos that is deep rooted in its traditions. The events and the scale of the festival will reflect the rapid transformations taking place in India which have seen rapid modernization in recent years while not losing its cultural roots. Namaste France festival will act as the platform for the people of France to view and understand India’s historically rich cultural traditions.