[Diplomatic circuit] Indian Embassy launches fifth ‘Sarang Festival’ to spread Indian culture

By Kim Bo-gyung

Ambassador Ranganathan says this year’s event pays tribute to 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth

  • Published : Oct 7, 2019 - 17:09
  • Updated : Oct 7, 2019 - 17:09

The Embassy of India in Seoul has launched an annual festival showcasing India’s diverse culture.

The fifth edition of “Sarang: The Festival of India in the Republic of Korea” kicked off Oct. 2 and will run until Nov. 22, introducing different aspects of Indian culture including classical bharata natya dance and traditional carnatic instrumental music, as well as Indian film, art and food.

“We begin tomorrow, Oct. 2, which is the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who is the father of the nation and global icon of peace and nonviolence. In a way we have tried to pay tribute to him by timing the launch of our Sarang on this meaningful day,” Ambassador of India to South Korea Sripriya Ranganathan said at a press conference Oct. 1 during a preview event at the Lotte World Tower in southeastern Seoul.

Ambassador of India to South Korea Sripriya Ranganathan (first row, sixth from left) and Lotte World CEO Park Dong-gi (first row, seventh from left) pose with bharata natya dancers during a preview of the fifth annual “Sarang: the Festival of India in the Republic of Korea,” Oct. 1 at the Lotte World Tower in southeastern Seoul. (Embassy of India)

“We were very happy to have a very strong message of the relevance of Gandhi’s philosophy and teachings to the Korean Peninsula, which was voiced by President Moon in New York.”

Since the Sarang Festival began in 2015, it has grown and has raised awareness of Indian culture here, serving as a strong cultural bridge between the two countries.

The Sarang Festival will travel nationwide: to Busan; Gwangju; Incheon; Daegu; Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province; Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province; and Namiseom, an island in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province.

“We hope very much that this range of Indian culture that we are bringing you will excite the people of Korea about India, make you want to visit and experience India for yourself. Also strengthen the bond and friendship between the two countries,” Ranganathan said.

The inaugural performance of instrumental carnatic music will take place at the Yongsan Art Hall on Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

The Indian Film Festival, which will kick off Oct. 16 at the Korean Film Archives, will screen award-winning films in four of India’s languages in Seoul, Busan and Gwangju.

The food festival, offering the flavors of the state of Rajastan, will be held Nov. 14-22 at the Millennium Seoul Hilton, the embassy said. 

By Kim Bo-gyung (