In a first of its kind initiative, an International Folk Festival of Kerala (IFFOK) organised by the Kerala Folklore Academy will begin here on Monday. The four-day festival will see the participation of artists from 20 states in India along with those from countries like South Africa, Sri Lanka and Cambodia. Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas will inaugurate the festival at 5 pm at the Durbar Hall ground.
Around 500 artists will perform at the inaugural event which will be held at the Ernakulathappan temple auditorium. Artists will also perform at the Vasco Da Gama ground at Fort Kochi from Tuesday.
On the inaugural day, Cultural Affairs Minister K C Joseph will release the book ‘Mooring Mirror’ by Sreekanth Thrikkarippor by handing it over to Tourism Director Harikishore.
Talking to reporters here, Academy Chairman B Mahamood Ahmed said that the aim of the event is to revive the traditional folk art forms which have been adversely affected by the forces of globalisation.
Three workshops on various folk art forms, including Kalamezhuthu, Padayani and Theyyam will be held from Tuesday to Thursday. A book, ‘Bhyari Bhasha Nighandu’ by A M Sreedharan will be released by PWD Minister Ibrahim Kunju on Tuesday.
Academy vice-chairman Suresh Koothurparamba said that the Cultural Affairs Department has allotted `15 lakh for conducting the festival. Though the academy was promised `1 crore aid from the state government for the festival, they are yet to receive the amount, the members alleged.
The programme is being held in association with the East Zone Cultural Centre, Kolkata and the Kerala Government South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur.
The Zulu dance which is native to the African Zulu tribe is expected to be a major attraction. The dance which has been passed on from one generation to the other is a form to express happiness and cheer and is a staple at celebrations.
Seven artists of ‘Biyonda Zulu’, a cultural entertaining company based at Durban, will arrive in the city to perform. The dance lays bare the former glories of the Sulu Kingdom, while also catches the varied and rich heritage of the tribal people.
The dance is popular at KwaZulu-Natal, one of South Africa’s prominent tourism festivals. The festival focuses on the Zulu dance performed every year and people from all over Africa arrive to take part in it. The dance depicts the essence of the life of the tribal people.
The Bengali Martial art ‘Rai Benshae’ will also be performed. The art form which is native to the Doris tribe makes use of the bamboo. It will be performed by the people of the Doris tribe. It brings out the military power of the people of Bengal.
The ‘Marunni’ folk form with musical instruments is performed in Nepal, Sikkim and Darjeeling. The dance comprises nine people, both men and women.
It celebrates the return of Sri Rama to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile in the forest.