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Bonjour India 2022 begins; festival to mark 75 yrs of India’s ‘Azadi’, Indo-French ties

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New Delhi, Mar 14 (PTI) The fourth edition of the Bonjour India festival was on Monday announced by the French envoy here and it will celebrate 75 years of the country’s Independence.

It will also mark 75 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain, termed the festival “a gift from France to the people of India” when the country is marking the platinum jubilee year of its independence.

The festival, which will be held from March-May 2022 across 19 Indian cities spanning 120 events, has been created in collaboration with French and Indian partners, in domains, including education, science, literature, cinema, gastronomy, street art, performing arts and photography, a senior official said.

“Bonjour India is a gift from France to the people of India when the country celebrates the 75th anniversary of its independence. India and France have enjoyed a close cultural partnership for decades, thanks in particular to the network of 14 Alliances Françaises throughout India. During this festival, we will honour the past exchanges and create new collaborations,” the French envoy was quoted a saying in an official statement.

“We believe that our two nations can grow closer by appreciating cultures and co-creating art, amalgamating views from both the countries. I look forward to coming together with the most creative people from our countries, resulting in greater creativity and enrichment. I believe that the free exchange of ideas between our two countries will plant the seeds of new thoughts that will help tackle the challenges that lie ahead,” Lenain added.

Organised by the French cooperation network in India — the Embassy of France; its cultural service, the French Institute in India; the Alliance Française network and the French Consulates, the festival is open to all, officials said.

The previous three editions were held in 2009-10, 2013 and 2017-18, the official said.

“COVID-19 brought in social distancing, masking, isolation, online work and took away conviviality from life in general. Bonjour India is a coming out moment. Bonjour India is a fest, a time when people will come together in a friendly atmosphere across a lively and vibrant programme with dance, circus, music, pop-up shows, debates and food and cinema,” the French Institute said in the statement.

A moment for “furthering people-to-people exchanges” between the two countries, in its fourth edition in 2022, “Bonjour India celebrates 75 years of India’s Independence and 75 years of the establishment of Indo-French diplomatic relations, a milestone moment in any nation’s history,” it added.

Besides, projects narrating the shared history of the two countries, through photography, science and letters, Bonjour India will also be an opportunity to ring in some positive vibes, build communities, foster social interaction and create opportunities for diversity, joy and amity after a long time since the pandemic overtook the world, organisers said.

Bonjour India will also include exhibition of original prints and negatives from museum collections in France, in a curation by Rahab Allana. Likewise, people will be able to discover France of the 70s with works of Indian photographer Parmanand Dalwadi, who was much influenced by noted lensman Henri Cartier-Bresson, they said.

“The festival also unearths the vast, though hitherto lesser known, history of scientific cooperation between the two countries over at least three decades. From the discovery of helium to electrification of Indian railways, through satellite imagery from space of Indian cities and the presence of French mathematicians in Indian cities in the 1930s to stories of India and France flying together throughout the first half of the 20th century,” the statement said.

Celebrating the Indo-French diplomatic relations, the logo of Bonjour India has been designed by National Institute of Design, retaining the essence of the festival that is central to fostering human exchanges between the two countries through arts, culture, science and education, it said.

The colour story symbolically represents the two nations, with the use of, red and blue in the letter form B, and saffron and green in the Os and R. Together, the visual language of Bonjour India 2022 summarises the ethos of the festival that looks forward to bringing together moments of joy, cheer, sharing, being in the open, and connecting with people, the statement said.

The senior official said, the festival in 2022 was delayed due to the third wave of the pandemic in India, adding, though the festival has been happening every four years in the past, from 2024 onwards, it is likely to take place annually. PTI KND ANB ANB

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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