Urdu Heritage Festival gets a makeover, to be held in CP from Feb.15

“We are pleased to present the Urdu Heritage Festival in a bigger and better avatar. New Delhi: Breaking the regional barrier, the Urdu Heritage Festival will take place outside the Walled City for the first time. The Urdu Heritage Festival was started by the Delhi government in 2010 to showcase city’s rich art and cultural heritage during the Commonwealth Games, which were held in the national capital. Urdu is an integral part of Delhi’s cultural and literary history. The annual event is organised by Delhi’s department of art, culture and languages in collaboration with the Urdu Academy to celebrate the language’s connection with Delhi and its intangible legacy.

New Delhi: Breaking the regional barrier, the Urdu Heritage Festival will take place outside the Walled City for the first time.

More than 50 artists, including well-known Urdu poets, Sufi and qawwali singers will perform during a six-day event at the Central Park in Connaught Place from February 15. The annual event is organised by Delhi’s department of art, culture and languages in collaboration with the Urdu Academy to celebrate the language’s connection with Delhi and its intangible legacy.

Along with cultural events, there will be book exhibitions, mushairas, calligraphic displays, food stalls, ghazal renditions and literary competitions in which students will be participating. The festival will also witness live performances by young talents from Old Delhi.

According to a Delhi government official this is an attempt to popularise Urdu by keeping the tradition of the city’s culture and art forms like ‘chaar bait’ (distinctive style of singing) and ‘kissa goi’ (storytelling) alive. “The programme which was organised every year used to be a quiet affair. Hardly 1,000 people would attend the event as majority of the people were either unaware of it, or chose not to attend due to its location. So we thought as to why Urdu should remain confined within the Walled City. Thus, we chose Central Park as the festival’s new venue as the idea is to bring Urdu into mainstream,” said the official.

The Urdu Heritage Festival was started by the Delhi government in 2010 to showcase city’s rich art and cultural heritage during the Commonwealth Games, which were held in the national capital. The venue was a ground along the Ring Road behind Lal Quila.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the government hopes to create an environment of harmony and love through such programmes. “We are pleased to present the Urdu Heritage Festival in a bigger and better avatar. Urdu is an integral part of Delhi’s cultural and literary history. It is an important marker of Delhi’s composite culture. We want to ensure that Urdu is not only well preserved, but also advances linguistically and socially. Reaching out to a new audience is important in doing so. This celebration will bring together all the lovers of Urdu, who can enjoy the use of the language in its varied forms.”

With the shifting of the venue and restructuring of the programme, the Urdu Academy is expecting more than 2,000 guests every day.

“We have added several features to bring vibrancy such as ‘Qissa Urdu Zabaan Ka’, ‘chaar bait’ (an art form on its deathbed), ‘Qissa Bachpan Ke Khelon Ka’, ‘Dastangoi’ with music, recitation of Ghalib’s letters and many more. Young artists have been roped in to attract younger audience,” said the official.

Delhi Archives will also hold an exhibition of rare documents and pictures narrating the history of the city at the venue.

The festival will conclude on February 20 with a mushaira (poetic symposium) in which famous Urdu poets like Rahat Indori, Mahtab Haider Naqvi and Nikhat Amrohi will participate. Stay updated with all the Delhi Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

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