Apr 22, 2009 News
As the Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) prepares to celebrate the 171st anniversary of Indian Arrival in Guyana, its three annual Melas have been rescheduled so as to accommodate the timely departure of the artistes from India.
At a press conference held yesterday, Executive Member of the IAC, Evan Persaud said that there has been a revised itinerary for this year’s celebration: the first grand international Mela will now be held at the Anna Regina Community Centre ground on Sunday, May 3, whilst the final Mela will be at the National Park, Georgetown on Sunday, May 10.
Initially, the two dates were reversed.
The second Mela remains unchanged and will be held at the Albion Sports Complex Ground in Berbice on Tuesday, May 5.
Based on information available to the IAC, the troupe is scheduled to depart Guyana on Monday, May 11, but the actual time of departure is currently unknown.
“If the original date for the Essequibo Mela, May 10, was kept, it meant that, given the protracted time of travel from that county to Georgetown, the troupe would be returning to the city at the earliest of 8:00 a.m. on the morning of Monday, May 11; the date of departure. The IAC, not wanting to jeopardise the troupe’s arrival in the next country they are scheduled to perform, decided to exchange the Georgetown and Essequibo dates despite the original dates being advertised. The IAC wishes to apologise for any inconvenience that may have been caused by this development,” Persaud said.
The IAC also extended its appreciation for the efforts of President Bharrat Jagdeo, in signing an agreement with his counterpart in India in 2004 for cultural exchanges between the two countries.
According to Persaud, this agreement has led to the facilitation of the various Indian troupes, which have graced the Melas between 2004 and now for 2009.
“The IAC has been instrumental in the efforts to have these Indian troupes for the celebration of Indian Arrival. For this year’s troupe, discussions began last November with officials of the Indian High Commission.”
This year, renowned Kathak dancer, Mahua Shankar and Banaras Thumri Diva, Kumud Diwan, along with supporting artistes in a ten-member troupe, will be part of the celebrations.
The talented Mahua Shankar has performed with Pandit Birju Maharaj in his major productions in many prestigious festivals and has travelled extensively in India and abroad as she has to her credit dance sequences in two major films, “Gaddar” with Sunny Deol and
Amisha Patel and “Devdas” with Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit.
According to the IAC, the artistes from India will be accompanied by leading local artistes drawn from the three counties. These include the Academy of Apex Education, Shelita’s Dance Troupe, Abhinaya Natya troupe, solo dancer Tamika and a number of other troupes from Berbice and Essequibo.
These artistes will be accompanied by two bands; the Shakti Strings and Clarity International.
This is the first time in seven years that the IAC will be using two different bands. 2009 marks the 7th year since the IAC has been promoting events to mark the arrival of East Indians, which is observed on May 5 annually.
As an addition, the IAC in collaboration with the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, will be mounting an exhibition reflective of Indian Arrival from May 1- 7 as guests arriving during this period will be provided with an opportunity to be more enlightened about Indian Arrival and East Indians’ contributions to the development of Guyana.
The IAC also pledged to continue to honour outstanding Guyanese of Indian origin who have contributed to the country’s development in various fields. To date, some twenty persons have been honoured with the IAC award.
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