The third edition of the North East India Festival, a vibrant cultural extravaganza that serves as a bridge for trade, investment, tourism, education, and cultural bonds between India and Vietnam, concluded with resounding success on Sunday. The event, held for the first time in Vietnam, garnered high praise and participation from a plethora of distinguished guests, government officials, investors, entrepreneurs, and artists hailing from the eight North Eastern states of India.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, and Indian Ambassador to Vietnam, Sandeep Arya, along with Indian Consul General Madan Mohan Sethi, joined Vietnamese leaders and officials in marking this significant event. The festival’s chief organizer, Shyamkanu Mahanta, emphasized the festival’s alignment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Act East policy, highlighting its pivotal role in enhancing cooperation between the two nations.
“The North East India Festival is not merely a cultural show but a platform for forging stronger ties in the economy, education, and cross-cultural connections,” stated Mahanta. During the festival’s initial days, discussions centered on education exchange, trade and business initiatives, flight connectivity, and tourism collaborations, promoting a positive atmosphere for progress and development.
One of the key highlights of the festival was the prospect of establishing direct flight routes between Vietnam and North East India, a development that is expected to facilitate increased people-to-people exchanges and bolster economic cooperation. Stakeholders, entrepreneurs, and representatives from educational institutions eagerly explored opportunities for growth and collaboration.
The festival’s grand finale showcased the rich tapestry of North Eastern Indian culture, with a dazzling array of traditional dance forms, including Bagrumba (Boro), Bhortaal (Assam), Drum Ensemble & Flute (Meghalaya), Tiwa Dance (Assam), Mwsaglangnai (Boro), Bihu Dance (Assam), Mishing (Assam), Daosri Delai (Boro), Drum Beating (Meghalaya), and Jarapagla (Boro). Vietnamese artists presented a folk performance, demonstrating the cultural exchange at the heart of the festival.
The concluding day featured captivating performances by renowned bands from North East India and Vietnam, including Bright Lights, Rapper Huynh Cong Hieu, The Kod Crew, Baba, Summersalt India, Saigon LH, and Bollywood DJ Cyco. A fashion show, featuring acclaimed designers from North East India, displayed exquisite designs and rich fabrics, with Vietnamese models adding an international flair to the runway.
In addition to the cultural showcases, the festival also hosted the Incredible India Exhibition, which highlighted the diverse destinations of India. A dedicated textile zone, state-specific exhibition areas representing various northeastern states, and themes related to the Act East Policy, tea, industry, and tourism were part of the exhibition, providing visitors with a glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry and economic potential of the region.
Furthermore, the festival’s stalls offered authentic delicacies and food products from the North Eastern states, further enhancing the visitor experience.
The first two editions of the festival were hosted in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, making the move to Vietnam a significant step forward in enhancing regional cooperation and cultural exchange.