New Delhi [India], Nov. 6 (ANI
): Exotic cuisine, rich heritage, colorful culture and tradition and music marked the beginning of the fourth edition of the Northeast Festival
at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
BJP leader and former Assam minister Himanta Bishwa Sharma
gracing the occasion, said, "Our government is committed in promoting the northeast and our state, and such festivals attract more tourists. That way we are benefitted as our tourist inflow is going up every year. People get a positive impression about our state Assam and the entire northeast through such events".
Chief guest Dr. Satyendra Garg
, who is the Joint Secretary (Northeast) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, said, "It is a privilege to be here and I had a chance to work for the northeast for nine years. I love the northeast. Our present government is working so that people from the northeast become a part of mainstream. We are investing more on infrastructure and on the Act East policy which surely will not only connect the northeast to India, but also to South East Asia."
"I have many north-eastern friends. I have visited before and every time we get to see new things. I am eagerly waiting for Papon. I am not new to the northeast, their culture is so unique. It is so awe inspiring to watch their dances, traditions. It's beautiful", said Visesh, a student.
"It is a gathering for everyone. All religions, castes and creeds come here to enjoy the food and culture. Northeast India is one of the unexplored destinations and it is a peaceful land. I have been to Kaziranga
, Shillong and I have been a regular visitor in this festival", said Piyali, a Delhiite.
In the evening a rock music contest between colleges, bands of Delhi and parts of northeast highlighted the young music talent of the region.
Fashion shows comprising the best northeast handlooms were showcased by around 20 young designers and models of the region.
Finally, the heartthrob of Assam and Bollywood singer Angaraag Papon Mahanta enthralled the crowd by performing some of his hits. (ANI