Handicraft fair draws hordes of visitors to Bhubaneswar

December 23rd, 2008 - 8:16 pm ICT by ANI  

By Sharada Lahangir
Bhubaneswar, Dec.23 (ANI): Artisans from different parts of the country and abroad are exhibiting their works at an ongoing 13-day handicraft fair here.
The fair is a major draw for art and craft lovers to watch a variety of works of art including palm-leaf paintings, woodcrafts, ethnic hand-woven clothes and sculptures.
Most of the stalls here are looking like thatched huts fitting well into the theme of the fair Rural crafts making.
Participants include artisans not just from rural areas of the country but also from countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and Afghanistan at the exhibition. The event has given the local artisans the much-needed exposure, as tourists are visiting this fair in big numbers.
The fair, meanwhile, has offered an opportunity for people from urban areas to meet the artisans from different parts of the country and buy their works of creativity.
Besides, the fair is also providing an interface between the artisans and institutional buyers; domestic as well as foreign.
“These festivals are a place where people get to actually see the rural art. Everybody cannot go to an interior area to buy art items. This is one place where everything comes together, said Parag Gupta, Secretary of the Tourism department.
These craftsmen are available for people at one place and along with the cultural experience, which encourages tourism in a large way. It benefits the viewers, the artisans, it benefits the performers, it benefits the local industries, the hotels and it also benefits tourism,” Gupta added.
The fair has an exclusive display of the authentic handicrafts and handlooms, which is attracting a large number of foreign visitors.
“I like it very much. It’’s very interesting that you can see from all different states of India at one place. That’’s very nice. For, being a tourist you don”t manage to travel everywhere so it is very convenient to come here and see what India has to offer,” said Romi, a German tourist.
The fair is also holding a gala food festival in which people from different states in the country showcase their delicacies and cuisines. The fair also includes staging of cultural nights along with folk-based performance.
The Orissa Tourism department promotes the craft and culture of rural India among the urban community through such fairs. (ANI)

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