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Glimpses of Bali through film, book and food

Glimpses of Bali through film, book and food

Balinese dancers perform at the ICCR on Friday. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya

Calcutta: Graceful Balinese dance, mouth-watering food and a generous serving of history await Calcuttans at a four-day Bali festival.

Rediscovering India International of Yore presents The Pride and Glory of Bali-yatra, in association with t2, kicked off at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) on Friday. An 11-member delegation, including dancers and chefs, are in town for the festival.

The inauguration showcased a photo exhibition and a documentary on the 2,000-year-old cultural and trade exchange between Bali and India. A coffee-table book by Sudip Sen was also launched on the occasion.

A Balinese food festival will be held at Hyatt Regency from Saturday.

The Pride and Glory of Bali-yatra, an initiative of Resource Indica: Roots Revelations and the Embassy of the Republic of IndonesiaNew Delhi, its tourism department and Odisha tourism is about popularising the history and heritage of Bali and India. It is part of a bigger project – Rediscovering India International of Yore – that tries to promote India‘s maritime history and cultural influence across South-East Asia.

“I had been to Bali thrice since 2012 while making the documentary. I found a rising number of Indian tourists there who had little idea about the centuries-old ties between Bali and India,” said Sen, the director of Resource Indica.

The initiative was flagged off in 2013 during the Bali-yatra festival in Cuttack, that commemorates the age-old seafarers’ journey to Bali.

The festival has also gone to Delhi and Bali before coming to the city.

“We want to forge a stronger bond with India. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Indonesia, there were talks on enhancing air connectivity. We want to connect with India both through tourism and greater cultural exchange,” said Sidharto Suryodipuro, the ambassador of Indonesia, who is on his first visit to the city.

Nearly five lakh Indian tourists visited Indonesia last year, more than 50 per cent of them had Bali on their itinerary. Around 12 per cent of these tourists were from Bengal. “This time our target is to serve seven lakh tourists from India. Till April, there were 1,82,000 tourists from India and we still have a stiff target to achieve,” said I Gde Pitana, the deputy minister of Indonesia tourism, who is part of the delegation visiting the city. India is the fifth- largest market in Indonesia after China, Singapore Malaysia and Australia and is growing rapidly, he said,

The ICCR event also showcased a colourful performance by Balinese dancers.

SNEAK PEEK

Balinese food festival at Hyatt Regency
• Photo exhibition at ICCR telling the story of Bali-yatra with glimpses of both Cuttack and Bali
• A coffee table book priced at Rs 1,000 available both at Hyatt Regency and at ICCR
• Documentary to be screened at both ICCR and Hyatt Regency 
• Balinese dance performance at Hyatt Regency

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