India should be proud of its cultural heritage and storytelling is part of Indian tradition: Meenakshi Lekhi

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Smt Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture graced the  15th edition of Kathakar  and State level Delhi finals of Vade Bharatam  at Central Vista, India Gate today.

This year Kathakar partners with Ministry of Culture under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and the event took  place at Amphitheatre Central Vista India Gate from 4pm to 7:30 pm as Kalanjali.

The festival Kathakar  showcased  in its pristine physical form amazing stories and music by Indian and International storytellers from several countries including  United Kingdom; Australia; Mongolia;  Sierra Leonne; and India.



In the Vande Bharatam state level finals of Delhi, 165 participants including 25 walk ins participated today. The State level selection of Vande Bhartam Nritya Utsav-2023 dancing artists  came from Delhi Noida, Ghaziabad and Meerut . The participants were in 18 dancing groups and 19 solos. A large number of spectators watched the competition and appreciated the performances.

On the occasion Smt Meenakshi Lekhi said that  the process of  selecting dance groups for the Republic Day National celebrations has been made more  transparent broad-based involving Jan Bhagidari which is the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.  She also said that India should be proud of its cultural heritage and storytelling is part of Indian tradition and Kathakar celebrates this tradition.  She said that sabka saath and sabka pryas will make India a developed country and Vande Bharatam aims to enhance Jan Bhagidari.

‘Vande Bharatam’ is a dance competition event being organized by the Ministry of Culture on behalf of Ministry of Defence, under the aegis of Republic Day Celebration-2023.

It has been decided in consultation with the Ministry of Defence that the theme for the Vande Bharatam Event to be showcased on 26th January, 2023 at Kartavya Path, New Delhi will be ‘Naari Shakti’ which is one of themes for the Republic Day Parade-2023. The Vande Bharatam Nritya Utsav is being organized by Ministry of Culture to select around 500 participants from all across the country who would be part of a special choreographed presentation during the Republic Day Celebration, 2023 on the above theme.

The target dates for submission of entries by the participating individuals/ groups were prescribed between 15th October to 10th November, 2022. The entries were required to be submitted on Portal in the age group of 17 to 30 years in the genres of folk/ tribal, classical and contemporary fusion art forms. A total of 1201 entries (consisting of total 4112 groups/ individual artists) have been received during the prescribed period. It has also been decided to allow the walk in performances during the State finals.

State level finals for Tripura ; Bihar and Jharkhand; Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh  have been completed . State level final competition for  Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will be held at Hyderabad tomorrow in which 197 participants from the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana would perform.  Union Culture Minister Shri G.K Reddy  will grace the occasion as Chief Guest.

The art of storytelling in India has many forms and utilizes many mediums. Despite differences in settings, genres, or cultures, all stories ultimately aim to convey something universal. They serve both an educational and entertainment purpose for audiences. It’s clear that different sections of India’s culture has its own distinct approach to storytelling. Puppets, dance, or even musical instruments are used as props to help the narrator make storytelling more impactful. Hence, Kathakar, the sole celebration of India’s rich oral storytelling tradition, which was started under the umbrella of Ghummakkad Narain Travelling Literature Festival was launched in 2010.

Kathakar 2022—a marquee event to revive the traditional style of storytelling in a world dominated by hi-tech gizmos and gadgets—will thus feature professional and passionate storytellers from the country and abroad who will showcase their mesmerizing craft to underscore the fact that storytelling cuts across all boundaries of language and culture.

Since its inception, the festival so far has been addressed by prominent personalities including former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Sadhguru Vasudev Jaggi, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Manoj Bajpayee, Vishal Bhardwaj, Pankaj Tripathi, Shantanu Moitra, Imtiaz Ali, Margaret Alva, Sunil Shastri, Nandita Das, Sushma Seth, among others.