This year’s Bhutan Literature Festival is all about Bikes, History and the Environment

India Today

June 28, 2016

Anvita Singh

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This year’s Bhutan literature festival is all about bikes, history and the environment

Revel in nature, take a bike tour or learn about the inception of Bhutan. Also, Amitav Ghosh will be there!

 

Amitav Ghosh, authentic Bhutanese food, a bike tour and unique history of how a country came together–sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Well, it is–a whole lot of fun.

Bhutan’s literary festival this year is going to be unlike any literary festival you have attended.

This year, Bhutan’s seventh edition of literary festival, Mountain Echoes, will focus especially on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, the first ruler who united the small, happy country.

Tracing the entire history of the country with respect to ‘this’ historical figure will be done through a conversation between Kuenga Wangmo (an archaeologist who has worked in Bhutan and India) and Dasho Sangay Khandu (member of the Economic Affairs Committee, Foreign Relations Committee and the Indo-Bhutan Parliamentary Friendship), festival co-director Namita Gokhale said in a statement.

 

“An initiative of the India-Bhutan Foundation in association with Siyahi, Mountain Echoes, to be held from August 26 to August 28 is a confluence of art, music, literature and new media of both countries, serving as the ideal platform for debate, discussion and cultural exchange,” Gokhale said.

The event will be held together with the important religious Buddhist festival, Tsecheus.

“What mask dancers are to the Tsechues, authors are to the Mountain Echoes,” said Tshering Tashi, the festival co-director from Bhutan.

“Its idyllic location and programme of events makes it one of the most unique literary festivals and a leading event in the international literary calendar,” he added.

The festival will open with a talk on climate change and its impact by the acclaimed Indian writer, Amitav Ghosh, and introduced by Indian ambassador Jaideep Sarkar. It makes sense; after all, the event itself is called Mountain Echoes.

 

Just FYI, Bhutan is considered to be one of the greenest countries on the planet, with more than 60 per cent green cover.

This year, the festival will also see the inauguration of the Bonfire Tales–a bike tour into the lovely valleys of Bhutan.

The participants will be led by Bhutanese actor Kelly Dorji, who has acted in Indian films like Ek Ajnabee and Fareb (you might remember him as Lara Dutta‘s ex, though).

The bikers will explore Bhutan in the tour, which aims to provide them with a genuine experience of the Bhutanese culture through food, history and religious sites.

(With inputs from IANS) 

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