The first International Folk Fest of Kerala (IFFOK), 2014, organised by the Cultural Department and the Kerala Folklore Academy, began at the Durbar Hall Ground open stage in Kochi on Monday. Union Minister K V Thomas inaugurated the four-day fest.
Speaking after the inauguration, K V Thomas said that it is the duty of each citizen to promote the folk arts.
He said that the IFFOK is a novel step taken by the government to showcase the rich culture of the state and experience art forms of other places. He lauded the Kerala Folklore Academy for bringing artists from abroad and other states for the programme.
He also spoke about the promotion of Chavittu Natakam. “Chavittu Nadakam has received approval from the Sangeetha Nataka Academy. As part of it, a Chavittu Nadakam festival will be held for three days from Wednesday at Gothuruth. During the festival, Chavittu Nadakam will be officially recorded. For this a fund of `15 lakh has been arranged,” He said.
Cultural Minister K C Joseph said that the IFFOK would continue in the coming years with participation from groups across the globe.
“At a time when folk arts are not receiving proper representation, such an initiative will be very helpful. We will continue with the IFFOK in the coming years with more groups from other countries,”he said.
During the function, K C Joseph released a book over Theyyam written in English by Sreekanth Thrikaripur. B Muhammad Ahmed, Chairman of the Kerala Folklore Academy, also spoke on the occasion. Hibi Eden MLA, Ludi Louis MLA, Dominic Presentation MLA, V P Sajeendran MLA, District panchayat president Eldhose Kunnapill, and Cultural Department secretary Rani George were present on the occasion.
After the inaugural function, Mudiyettu, Garudan Parava, Thiriuzhichil, Chavittu Nadakam, Bihu of Assam, Nadav Dance of West Bengal, Goti Pua Dance of Orissa, Folk dance of Bihar and Rikamba Dance of Arunachal Pradesh were staged. Workshop on various folk arts will be held on Tuesday to Thursday at the Ernakulathappan Temple Auditorium at 10 am.
On Tuesday, the workshop will focus on Kalamezhuthu art. Various folk arts will be staged at the Durbar Hall ground in the evening. A book, ‘Bhyari Bhasha Nigandu’ by A M Sreedharan will be released by PWD Minister Ibrahim Kunju on Tuesday.
Artists from 20 states in India along with those from countries like South Africa, Sri Lanka and Cambodia, will be present.
Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas will inaugurate the festival at 5 pm at the Durbar Hall ground.
Artists will also perform at the Vasco Da Gama Ground at Fort Kochi from Tuesday.
The programme is being held in association with the East Zone Cultural Centre, Kolkata, and the Kerala Government South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur.