Ranchi: The 15 days festivities at the Surajkund International Crafts Mela that commenced on 1st of February came to a conclusion here on Wednesday. It was naugurated by the Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar.
The concluding day function was graced by the Governor of Jharkhand, Draupadi Murmu, and a host of Cabinet ministers including senior bureaucrats, a number of diplomats, high commissioners, cultural and economic counsellors from various Embassies and High Commissions.
Tourism Secretary Rahul Sharma in his observations widely praised the way the strength of the State was being showcased at the Mela with all its products, articles including culture, heritage, food and the like that have fallen to public taste among produce and creatives of other states in the Indian federal structure.
For the first time in the history of Surajkund International Crafts Mela, Jharkhand was chosen as a theme state, which began on 1st of February at the sprawling Surajkund landscape.
With this, the newly carved out state exhibited a plethora of art, culture, crafts, handloom and even its heritage not only within India but also beyond its boundaries, for the Surajkund Mela is known for its wider reach to visitors and participants in two week’s affair.
As the theme state, Jharkhand not only exhibited its culture as a whole but also availed multiple opportunities to showcase its customs and traditions including festivals, dance, music, its special cuisine and even fine arts at multiple locations in and around Surajkund in the State of Haryana.
The Cultural Mosaic of Jharkhand was dreamt about, shaped and polished by generations of communities, which have inhabited this land since time immemorial. The arts and crafts form a significant part of the cultural lineage of Jharkhand. There are around 32 tribal groups like Santhals, Gonds, Bihors, Banjaras, Mundas, Asurs and many more who have influenced the traditions of Jharkhand and imparted to it the richness and diversity that exists there.
Jharkhand Pavilion made a replica of Audrey House in the 31st International Surajkund Crafts Mela. It served as an Information Center for the visitors. The interior was designed in such a manner as to provide a real time experience of various Heritage sites of Jharkhand.
In the same manner, the surroundings of the Jharkhand Information Center (Audrey House) was designed by Megalith Stones and Betla National Park. The restored building was inaugurated by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee on January 10th, 2016.
On 11th February, PHD Chamber of Commerce organized a Fashion show whereby renowned designers like Rina Dhaka and Varija Bajaj had designed some amazing outfits made out of the fine fabrics named Tussar Silk and others. Shibani Kashyap, who was show stopper for the evening mesmerized everyone by her voice and attire designed by Rina Dhaka.
A major business announcement was made on the day of the fashion show where Rina Dhaka formally launched her Jharkhand Inspired Collection for retailing and Varija launched her “VARIJA for JHARCRAFT” range. People from different parts of Jharkhand showcased their talent and earned great amount of respect and applaud. Arts like “JADO PATIYA’, ‘MADHUBANI PAINTINGS’ and Crafts like ‘CHHAU MASK’,’DHOKRA’ were the talk of the event.
The Santhals practice the art of Jado or Jadopatia where the artisans make scrolls with natural inks and colours which are used as visual aids in storytelling and are said to have magical and healing powers. Some other arts practiced and exhibited The Dhokra art, Ganju art, Sohrai art, Kohver art, Rana, Teli and Prajapati art, Kurmi art, Mundas art, Turi art, Birhor and Bhuiya art, Ghatwal art and the list goes on.
The crafts of Jharkhand form a very significant part of the cultural lineage of the state of Jharkhand in India. Metal crafts, Bamboo crafts, Wood carving, Stone Craft, were beautifully showcased in the Mela. Other forms of crafts are Mask Craft (Chhau Mask), Ledre Craft( torn and used cloth used for making beautiful creation), Mrin craft(pots made from soil) and Instrumental Crafts.
The indigenous tribes of Asurs and Birjiyas exhibited their ancient methods of iron making at the Jharkhand Pavilion at the 31st Surajkund Mela. One of the finest example of ancient Indian iron making is the Iron Pillar located in Delhi, India, a 7 m (23 ft) column in the Qutub Minar complex, notable for the rust-resistant composition of the metals used in its construction.Visitors at the Jharkhand Pavilion were seen visibly amazed at such hidden scientific achievements of Indian civilization, which effectively dissipate the perception of ancient India as a land only of snake charmers.
For the constant entertainment of the visitors, different Tribal Dance forms amongst which Chhau dance, Santhali and others were greatly admired by the crowd. The artists who performed these forms say that they had been learning it since childhood and for some dancing is not only a means of earning their bread but epitomizes their life and spirit.
Good food is something that leaves a titillating effect on the taste buds for ages.
Jharkhand’s traditional cuisine has been greatly praised by the visitors. In Vegetarian Delights, ‘Dhuska’ and ‘Litti Chokha’(a cuisine of its parent state, Bihar) and in Non-Vegetarian Delights, Chicken(Murga Bhaat) and Fish(Rehu Macchli) gave a delightful feel to the taste buds. The cuisine is incomplete without the special mention of sweet dishes like ‘Malpua’, ‘Anarsa’ and many more.
The culture and traditions of Jharkhand are rich and varied and Jharkhand being home to a number of tribes speaking a variety of languages has a unique history and the Government has endeavoured at various levels to maintain and propagate these art and craft forms and prevent them from extinction by helping small scale industries and trade flourish in the country and abroad.
The 31st International Crafts Mela, Surajkund, Faridabad has been a great success. The Mela exhibited the unique nature and Culture of Jharkhand. It is replete with numerous elements of Music and Dances, without which Jharkhand is incomplete.