“Youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow” – this popular saying by Nelson Mandela sounds good in theory but is often questioned in practicality.
Instead, Nigerian writer Abubakar Umar proposed, “Youths are the leaders of today” which seems befitting since leaders of today and tomorrow share a desire for difference from yesterday.
Today’s youth therefore have several platforms to allow their voices to be heard for a better tomorrow and the perks often involve travelling, networking and above all having a great time.
One such occasion is ‘Harmony 2017’ an International Cultural Festival and Youth Conference that will be held from October 21 to October 29, 2017 in Karnal in the North Indian state of Haryana, 119 km from New Delhi.
About 5000 youth delegates from different parts of India and overseas are expected to attend this mega event of crafts, culture, cuisine and youth activities from which 1000 artists have been selected to showcase their talents at the International Cultural Festival. The aim is to foster friendly relations between Indian artists and the international artists’ community.
The Kiwi Connection
Among those selected include this writer (supported by The Ranchhod Foundation) who will represent New Zealand at this prestigious event. She will perform Indian Classical and Fusion dances in addition to exemplifying her identity as a Kiwi-Indian at the International Youth Conference.
Other representatives from countries such as Australia, the Czech Republic, Britain, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Mauritius, Russia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates and United States of America will share their insights and achievements, thus making ‘Harmony 2017’ a unique cultural confluence of youth leaders for the youth of India.
Golden Year of Haryana
Initiated by the National Integrated Forum of Artists and Activists (NIFAA) and supported by the Government of Haryana, ‘Harmony 2017’ will coincide with ‘Haryana Swarna Utsav’ or the Golden Jubilee Year of the formation of the State of Haryana.
Upon reaching this significant milestone (50 years) on November 1, 2016, Haryana organised numerous programmes and several projects have been implemented by government departments to generate awareness amongst people about social and cultural aspects of India.
Regarded as the torch-bearer of youth activities and sports in India, the State has produced many promising sportspersons and cultural icons in varied disciplines, bringing pride not only to the State of Haryana but also the entire country.
The State is also blessed with rich history as Haryana (known as the land of the Holy Bhagwat Gita) is said to be the place where the Battle of Kurukshetra took place according to the Mahabharata, one of the greatest epics of India.
The National Forum
NIFAA, an organisation based in Karnal, provides a stage where artistes can showcase their creative genius, simultaneously bringing important socio-cultural issues to the forefront.
‘Harmony 2017’ will motivate youngsters to work cohesively for national integration and global harmony.
“Visual and Performing arts are an essential part of life. They provide unique means of expression of emotions and ideas, explore new horizons of culture and help in understanding the world in its entirety” Haryana Governor Professor Kaptan Singh Solanki said.
Aside from culture-based activities, NIFAA has worked in a plethora of social causes such as promoting patriotic love among Indian citizens, environment safety programmes, women empowerment, child welfare and adventure excursions.
Major issues that will be addressed at the International Youth Conference at the forthcoming ‘Harmony 2017’ include Social Equity and Gender Equality which are at the core of youth development and empowerment.
The Ranchhod Foundation
Going by its motto ‘Betterment of Humankind,’ The Ranchhod Foundation is a registered charitable organisation based in New Zealand which shares the goals and principles of NIFAA. They have dedicated their services to improve the lives of many, particularly children, and have worked tirelessly in providing medical and scholastic facilities to those in need in New Zealand and India.
As an artiste and Indian Newslink Correspondent, I am grateful to The Ranchhod Foundation for their support in my selection to represent New Zealand at ‘Harmony 2017’ in India.
Some of the activities and pavilions during these nine days include ‘Beauty Redefined,’ ‘International Crafts Mela,’ ‘International Tourism Expo,’ ‘Agriculture,’ ‘Ayurveda,’ ‘Role of Youth in Politics,’ ‘Drugs Free Society’ and ‘Digital India.’
Prominent personalities from government, business, social, cultural and art sectors are scheduled to grace ‘Harmony 2017.’
The International Cultural Festival will be inaugurated by Governor Solanki and former Prime Minster of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth while Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the International Cultural Festival.
Other celebrities and distinguished guests expected to attend the event include the Governors of Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh states, Ministers from State Governments, Ambassadors of different countries, Kathak Legend Pandit Birju Maharaj, Flute Master Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Hindi Film actor Randeep Hooda.
Ratna Venkat is an Award-winning Indian Classical Dancer, Choreographer and Assistant Editor of Indian Newslink. She has been selected to represent New Zealand at ‘Harmony 2017,’ an International Cultural Festival and Youth Conference that will be held in Karnal, Haryana in India. Supported by The Ranchhod Foundation, Ratna will post experiences of her trip via her Facebook and Instagram pages and file a detailed report of the event in our November 15, 2017 issue. Like her on Facebook.com/ratnarangnz and Follow her on Instagram.com/ratnarang to stay updated.
- Ratna Venkat representing artists and youth at ‘Harmony 2017.’
- India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessing the Haryana Swarna Jayanti
Celebrations in Gurugram on November 1, 2016. Haryana Governor Professor Kaptan
Singh Solanki and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar are also seen.
(Picture by Press Information Bureau, Delhi)