The renowned annual Surajkund Mela organized annually by the Surajkund Mela Authority under the aegis of the Haryana state Tourism Ministry and the Indian Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles and Culture is being held this year from 1-15 February .
The mega fair showcases the finest handlooms and handicrafts of India and draws award winning artisans from all over the country who showcase and sell their products. The fair features different cuisines and is also a platform for performing arts including folk theatre from different parts of the country.
The Surajkund Mela was elevated as an International Crafts Mela from this year, 2014, and Sri Lanka was bestowed the honour of being selected as the first country to be granted the important status of ‘Partner Nation’ at the Mela, stated the Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi.
While Sri Lanka is participating at this mega fair as its Partner Nation, 18 other countries from across the world have joined the Mela in different capacities to feature their diverse culture, arts, handicrafts, songs and dance.
he Indian state of Goa is participating in the Mela as the theme state, prominently displaying its culture, art, architecture and food.
As Partner Nation, Sri Lanka has a separate pavilion at the fair featuring traditional art, handicrafts including non-toxic and environmentally friendly products such as jute, palmyrah and coconut shell based crafts, handloom products, batik, tea and cuisine.
A special attraction of Sri Lanka’s participation at the fair is the traditional dances on display each day at the venue featuring the National Youth Council Dance Troupe. The Sri Lanka Navy Cultural Troupe that is visiting New Delhi also performed at the Fair which draws nearly 100,000 visitors on a daily basis and receives wide media attention especially in north India. The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and the Sri Lanka Tea Board joined Sri Lanka’s representation at the Fair featuring attractive stalls.
High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam joined the Chief Minister of Haryana and the Deputy Chief Minister of Goa at the inauguration of the Mela on 1 st February. Speaking at the inauguration, the High Commissioner thanked the Chief Minister of Haryana for providing the opportunity for Sri Lanka to be the first Partner Nation at the Mela, manifesting the close relations and cultural links that exist between the two countries.