NPM Southern Branch hosts Indian Festival of Light

The odissi dance is to feature in the Indian Festival of Light at NPM Southern Branch Oct. 29 in Chiayi County. (Courtesy of ITA)

The odissi dance is to feature in the Indian Festival of Light at NPM Southern Branch Oct. 29 in Chiayi County. (Courtesy of ITA)

National Palace Museum Southern Branch is set to stage the Indian Festival of Light Oct. 29 in Chiayi County as part of government efforts strengthening Taiwan-India exchanges under the New Southbound Policy.
 
Organized by Taipei City-based NPM and India-Taipei Association, the festival features performances of traditional dances bharatanatyam, kathak and odissi, as well as musical instruments esraj and sitar. It brings the curtain down on the inaugural NPM Asian Art Festival, which kicked off Sept. 30 at the Southern Taiwan facility and included art exhibitions, cultural shows, film screenings, seminars and workshops focused on the South Asian country.
 
NPM Director Lin Jeng-yi said the festival represents an outstanding opportunity to advance cultural ties between Taiwan and India. Such an event deepens mutual understanding and underscores the effectiveness of the New Southbound Policy, he added.
 
A central plank in the government’s national development strategy, the New Southbound Policy seeks to deepen Taiwan’s agricultural, business, cultural, education, trade and tourism links with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
 
ITA Director-General Sridharan Madhusudhanan said the festival is an effective way of sharing aspects of India’s diverse culture like cuisine, dance, film and music with the people of Taiwan. It is important to note, he added, that Indian and Taiwan talents are taking part in performances, demonstrating the open-minded attitude of locals toward experiencing popular foreign cultures.
 
The monthlong festival, which is taking place for the first time in Taiwan, was organized to celebrate Deepavali—India’s most important holiday. Falling Oct. 19 this year, the Hindu celebration derives its name from the clay lamps, “deepa,” lined up in a row, “avali,” outside an Indian’s home symbolizing inner light protecting from spiritual darkness. (CPY-E)