It was a celebration
of Oman and India’s diversity at the first ever Indo-Oman Folk Art
Festival held on February 25 and 26 at Marah Land in Qurum. A cultural
assimilation in every sense, folk performers from different regions of
India and Oman performed not just to entertain, but also to educate.
Every minute of the presentation which was a moving demonstration of
music, dance and colour, was lapped up by the audience.
The Indo-Oman Folk
Art Festival was presented by Idam in association with Embassy of
India, Muscat and Harmony Music Centre. The Indo-Oman Folk Art Festival
had the support of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the
Ministry of Heritage and Culture of Oman.
choreographer, publisher, activist, writer, actor, communicator and
director of Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, Mallika Sarabhai,
inaugurated the event, where Kerala based-film director Priyanandan was
the chief guest. Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award winners, Suresh K.
Virmani, managing director of the Bahwan Engineering Group and Dr Azad
Moopen, founder chairman of the D M Healthcare and MIMS India (and
chairman, Al Raffah Medical Centre, Oman) were honoured at the event.
Indian ambassador to the Sultanate; Malika Berak, French ambassador to
the Sultanate; Sheikh Kanak Khimji, director of Khimji Ramdas; P.
Mohammed Ali, vice-chairman of Galfar; A. K. Nambiar, general secretary
of the Kerala Folklore Academy; Shatha Abbas of Dar Al Atta’a; and
officials from Shahi Foods and Spices and BankMuscat were present at the
Besides colourful performances, the second day of the event also saw the
pre publication announcement of the book containing works of 10 Omani
poets being translated into Malayalam by V. A. Kabeer. The two-day
festival saw folk dances and music from Indian states of Himachal,
Nagaland, Punjab, Orissa, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka,
Tamil Nadu and Kerala. From Oman, performances came from Sharqiyah,
Batinah, Dhofar and other regions. While the Kerala Folklore Academy
brought some of the performances and Sutradhar Kala Sangam was brought
by ICCR, some of the performances were presented by danseuse Premila
The tone for the two-day event was set by the Kurum Kuzhal performers
who used the chenda (drums) and kuzhal (wind instruments) to herald in
what was to come later.