As part of celebrations of India’s cultural heritage in Myanmar, “Celebration of Foundation Day Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)” was organized by the Embassy of India, Yangon on 9 April.
During the event Ambassador of India to Myanmar, Shri Saurabh Kumar delivered the welcome address and the Chief Guest Kyi Min, Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs and Culture of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar delivered the Opening Address. Over 300 guests including the diplomatic corps, Indian communities and media attended the event.
ICCR was founded on 9th April 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, who was independent India’s first Education Minister. Its objectives are to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to India’s external cultural relations; to foster and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries; to promote cultural exchanges with other countries and people; and to develop relations with nations.
This cultural relation, however, is not one sided. Myanmar students group attended SAARC Cultural Festival in India in 2009. In the same year, a music band ‘’Emperor’’ also visited India to participate in the “South Asian Bands Festival” conducted by ICCR and got the chance to mesmerize the audience in the Indian city of Shillong in Meghalaya. Very recently, popular singer May Thu Khain who sang the famous Bhajan – ‘Vaishanv Jan To’ visited India to take part in the Asian Youth Festival. As a part of the ‘Know India’ initiative of the Government of India, many people from Myanmar got an opportunity to visit India. Many students got chance to go to India for post graduate and research studies through ICCR.
India is a land of varied culture. Each state has its own language, dress, different type of food, and social and religious practices. Yet there is one common thread of unity. The programme which took place on 9th April gave glimpses of this diversity in a crisp manner.
Variety of programmes were performed on ICCR Foundation Day on 9th April 2019. The dances which were performed gave glimpses of different states of India like Jammu & Kashmir and Gujarat, while the folk song depicted the melody of Rajasthan. This romantic song depicted the love between the two birds, peacock and peahen. The fashion show showcased the traditional costumes from different states in India. The central idea behind this programme is “Unity in Diversity”. Each state in India has different culture, cuisine and costume etc. This understanding strengthens the bond between different communities.