The World Converges in the Himalayas: 5 Reasons You Must Attend Mountain Echoes Literary Festival
Literature, art and culture from across the globe come alive in the Eastern Himalayas
India, July 12, 2018: 3 days. 5 venues. More than 35 sessions. A promise of a spectacular, unmatched experience.
This August, the Eastern Himalayas will come alive with not just the sound of music, but also with poetic phrases, theatrical tales and historical anecdotes as the Land of the Thunder Dragon is all to host the 9th edition of the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival. Stalwarts from across the world will converge in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphufrom 23rd till 25th August for the literary, arts and cultural extravaganza.
An initiative of the India Bhutan Foundation and India’s leading literary agency, Siyahi, the festival celebrates Untouched Beauty, Unexplored Ideas and Unstoppable Voices from the heart of the Himalayas. The festival is presented by the Jaypee Group and powered by the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan.
We bring you five #MustExperience segments from the Festival that you absolutely cannot miss in this edition.
- TREASURES OF FRIENDSHIP: 50 YEARS OF BHUTAN-INDIA TIES
2018 is a milestone year for India and Bhutan as the neighboring countries enter their 50th year of formal diplomatic relations.
The shared history of the two nations will manifest itself in the form of an engaging tete-a-tete between Bhutan’s Ambassador to India, His Excellency General V. Namgyel and India’s Ambassador to Bhutan, His Excellency Jaideep Sarkar.
Dasho Chewang Rinzin (Director of the Royal Institute of Governance and Strategic Studies) will also join the two Ambassadors as they rediscover India and Bhutan’s five-decade long relationship.
2. SPEAKING UP WITH POETRY: AN EXPERIENCE BY SARAH KAY
Performance art will find a new stage amidst the Himalayas. After winning hearts across the globe, celebrated spoken word poet Sarah Kay will bring some of her most intense and charismatic works to the Bhutanese kingdom.
Audiences from Bhutan, India and the world over will be both entertained and inspired by
Sarah’s solo performance of pieces from some of her most popular works, including B and No Matter the Wreckage.
3. HIP HOP 101: A GENRE UNDISCOVERED
Bhutan’s bustling music scene has long ranked high among the nation’s best kept secrets. All that is set to change at this year’s edition of Mountain Echoes literary festival.
Bhutan’s love affair with hip-hop will be introduced to global audiences by two local names synonymous with it. Bhutanese rappers Kezang Dorji and Maynia Dhubee OG will put the spotlight on how the genre found fans in the country. And what’s even better, some of this history will be recited in the form Bhutan loves best – rap!
4. UNRAVELING MYSTERIES: TALES FROM NATURE
As global conversations on environment and conservation rise, Mountain Echoes literary festival brings together celebrated names such as Daniel C. Taylor, Valmik Thapar and Dave Goulson, to regale audiences with stories of their adventures with nature.
Each year, hundreds set out in search of answers which will help them understand the history of the elusive Himalayan yeti. And yet, barely any return with answers.Daniel C. Taylor, author of Yeti: The Ecology of a Mystery, will help resolve some of the questions that have haunted us for decades. In conversation with Festival Co-Director and author Tshering Tashi, and Karma Singye Dorji, writer of Dreaming of Prayer Flags: Stories and Images from Bhutan, he will give definitive explanations for the century-old mysteries of the abominable snowman.
Not as elusive as the Himalayan Yeti, the bumblebee has had its own tryst with both literature and science. Sunday Times best-selling writer Dave Goulson, author of A Sting in the Tale and A Buzz in the Meadow, will talk about his study of bumblebee ecology, conservation projects and agro-ecosystems with environmentalist and bumblebee conservation expert Karma Samdrup. You never know, the conversation may even shed some light on the mystery of how bumblebees fly!
Rounding off the sessions on environment and natural history will be Indian wildlife conservationist Valmik Thapar. The author and member of the Rajasthan Board for Wildlife will translate his passion to the stage through a dialogue on innovative interventions for wildlife in Rajasthan, such as Van Dhan Yojana and Project Leopard.
- LIGHTS CAMERA ACTION: TALES OF THE STAGE AND THE SCREEN FROM INDIA AND BHUTAN
Industry veterans Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah and Sanjna Kapoor, will bring alive the magic of theatre at the festival.
On stage together, the powerhouse duo of Sanjna Kapoor and Ratna Pathak Shah, will take audiences through the evolution of theatre and give them a glimpse of its current 21st century avatar.
In another session during the festival Ratna Pathak Shah will be joined on stage by veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah for what promises to be a once in a lifetime experience for audiences. The two will bring to life a series of Vikram Seth's poems from the Beastly Stories collection and James Thurber’s short stories
Continuing the theme of Indo-Bhutanese relations, the festival will also play host to a
round table conversation with members of the Bhutanese Film Industry, including Kunga Tenzin Dorji, Tandin Bidha, Chencho Dorji, Dechen Roder and Druksel Dorji. The round table will also host celebrated names from the Indian Film Industry including Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Vani Tripathi and L. Somi Roy. The industry veterans will discuss how each country has honed and built its culture of cinema over the years.
Resonating with a mix of the old-world charm and the contemporary vibe, Mountain Echoes literary festival has set the pace for discussions on ancient cultures and contemporary issues. Come, be a part of Bhutan’s homegrown literary retreat and experience a mesmerizing blend of art and culture. To know more, visit http://www.mountainechoes.org/
Jaypee Group presents Mountain Echoes Literary Festival, an initiative of the India Bhutan Foundation, in association with Siyahi and powered by Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan. It brings together writers, scholars, environmentalists, photographers, performance artists, and film-makers, among others to engage to engage in a cultural dialogue, share stories, create memories and spend three blissful days in the mountains. Mountain Echoes enjoys the patronage of Her Majesty the Royal Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck.
The ninth edition of the festival is being organized in Thimphu, Bhutan from August 23 – August 25 with the inaugural on August 22.
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