Swaraj to visit 'Janadriyah' festival today

ANI | Updated: Feb 08, 2018 09:34 IST

Riyadh [Saudi Arabia], Feb 8 (ANI): External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj will visit the National Cultural Festival, 'Janadriyah', here on Thursday.

During the visit, Swaraj will discuss the bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest with the Saudi Arabian leaders.

The EAM addressed the Indian community in Saudi Arabia on Thursday and outlined the growing relations between the two countries over the past few years. The Indian community is Saudi Arabia's largest expatriate group. Nouf Marwaai, who is the first-ever woman instructor in yoga in Saudi Arabia, was present.

Marwaai received Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian awards, for popularising the ancient practice in Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago.

Swaraj appealed to the community to visit the India pavilion at the festival to witness the heritage and cultural tradition of India, along with its modern image.

Yesterday, Swaraj met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who inaugurated the Janadriyah festival. India is the guest of honour country at this year's festival and Swaraj led the Indian delegation at the festival.

The two-week long festival that began in is the biggest cultural festival of the Gulf that celebrates the culture and heritage of Saudi Arabia.

The festival not only brings to life the culture of the Gulf kingdom but also aims to acquaint its citizens with the cultures of other countries, by way of inviting a country each year as the guest of honour.

This year, at the 32nd edition of the festival, India as the guest of honour will get to showcase facets of its culture, business opportunities, technology, medical and military progress

The Indian pavilion provided a glimpse of socio-cultural heritage, folklore, traditional costumes, Indian perfumes, bridal costumes, artefacts, calligraphy and food.

Indian cultural performances such as Kathakali, Kalariyaptu, Kathak, Manipuri, Chhau, Bangra, Bollywood, Gujarati and Rajasthani and Yoga performances are also expected to grace Al Janadriyah.

On the business front, major Indian companies like Tata Motors, Jet Airways, Al Abeer Medical Group, etc. will also be putting up stalls at the Pavilion.

Al Janadriyah started in 1985 under the patronage of the ruling monarch. The tradition continues with King Salman who is the patron of the festival this year.

About 3.2 million strong and vibrant Indian community in Saudi Arabia forms the largest expatriate group. Saudi Arabia is also the fourth largest trading partner for India with bilateral trade exceeding US$ 25 billion in 2016-17. (ANI)