India’s cultural diplomacy was given a big push with the hosting of a musical show dubbed, ‘Sufi Night’ at the Delhi Public School (DPS) International, Community 25, Tema, in the Greater Accra Region.
Positive spin was placed on the cultural diplomacy to strengthen the India-Ghana bilateral relationship and also enrich the Ghanaian economy through entertainment as multi-layered features of Indian culture were showcased in numerous ways.
The programme forms part of the celebration of an Indian festival named Matri in Ghana. Matri in the Indian linguistic means friendship. The festival forms part of 60 years’ commemoration of diplomatic relations between Indian and Ghana.
The confluence festival, touted as one of the largest foreign cultural shows to be orgainsed [sic] in Ghana, brought together several Indians to entertain the audience with diverse genres of their music and interact with one another amidst dancing.
It was sponsored by DPS International and B5 Plus Limited under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts and the Government of India.
A celebrated 9-member musical troupe led by renowned female musician, Dr. Mamta Joshi, mesmerized guests with different Indian traditional and folk song recitals.
The festival, which was officially launched on the eve of India’s 68th Republic Day celebration on January 25, 2017 at the National Theatre in Accra, was simultaneously celebrated in different parts of the country.
His Excellency Birender Singh Yadav, Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, was full of praise for the government regarding the strong diplomatic relationship between the two countries, dating back to the regime of the first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
According to him, Ghana’s relationship with India, public diplomacy, is essential if both countries continue to build the strategic partnership, “which both governments desire.”
He pointed out that the Matri festival comes with components of Indian classical and folk dances, Sufi music, Indian food festival, film festival, lecture and demonstration of Yoga.
The Commissioner explained that similar festivals had already been held in countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Indonesia and Italy, among several other countries.
He disclosed that the festival would be climaxed with a film festival which would be held at the Indian House, where three Bollywood films would be telecast.
Mr. Singh indicated that India would continue to invest in maintaining and strengthening the relationship between her and Ghana.
Mr. Mukesh V.Thakwani, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of B5 Plus Ltd and DSP International - both located in Tema - was excited that the festival was able to succeeded by going beyond the stereotypes.
“I feel that perceptions about India are changing anyway, and thanks to Indians growing the economy of Ghana and the impact being made,” Mr. Thakwani underscored.
He assured the Government of Ghana of India’s commitment to continue investing in the economy to help make her (Ghana) one of the best countries in the world.
Strengthening the strong foundation of bilateral friendship between Ghana and India, according to Mr. Thakwani, is his topmost desire, consequently, the massive investment by B5 Plus and DPS International in Ghana.
For the past 17 years, B5 Plus has remained the leading steel manufacturing company in the West African sub-region. The company trades in various ranges of steel products suitable for the construction of small scale projects to huge ones like mining, shipping, engineering, automobile manufacturing and real estate projects, among others.
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."