The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport is joining with the High Commission of India in celebrating this year's Indian Arrival Day activities.
The ministry, the commission and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) New Delhi, are sponsoring the twelve-member Gujarati Folk Dance troupe's participation in the 168th anniversary of the arrival of Indians in Guyana. According to a press release from the commission, the visit falls under the Cultural Exchange Programme signed between India and Guyana during President Bharrat Jagdeo's visit to that country in August 2003. Since then, this is the fourth time that a cultural group will visit Guyana. The troupe will be performing at the Anna Regina Community Centre, Essequibo, on April 30, at the National Cultural Centre on May 3, the Albion Community Centre, Corentyne, Berbice, May 5 and at the National Park on May 7. The troupe, from the Rangashree School of Fine Arts, one of the top performing schools in India, will perform folk dances such as the garba, dandiya, tippani, dhol, gamthi, bhil and dangi during the celebrations. The Gujarat state is renowned for producing folk dances, the most popular of which is the garba. This dance is performed during the Navaratri festival, where women fetch colourfully decorated pots or garbis on which lighted diyas are placed. The dancers then move in a circle, taking short steps as they clap and sing religious songs. Another popular dance, the dandiya raas, traditionally performed by men, produces music. Each dancer taps sticks, decorated, and with ankle bells attached to the ends, against their partner's as they sing songs reminiscent of Radha-Krishna. Avani Shrenik is directing the troupe's performances.