Bengal Goa Folk mela was inaugurated on March 1 at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao. The mela includes stalls of handicrafts and Bengali and Goan folk performances from 6.30 p.m. to 9 p.m. till March 12.
The mela is organised by a social enterprise, ‘banglanatak dot com’ in collaboration with Ravindra Bhavan, and Department of Directorate of Art and Culture, Government of Goa.
Founder director of banglanatak dot com, Amitava Bhattacharya said, “The idea is to present the traditions of both the places together of Goa and Bengal. Their art will also be depicted through the handicraft exhibition here. It is also an exchange and collaboration between the artists.”
He further said, “There are interesting differences and even more interesting similarities between the traditions of Bengal and Goa. Presenting them here will all the more entertain the audience.”
‘banglanatak dot com’ is a 16-year-old social enterprise with its head office at Kolkata. It is specialised in culture and development. The enterprise has partnered with Directorate of Art and Culture, Kala Academy, Alliance Francaise, Fundacio Oriente, Carpe Diem, Guru Bar and is operational in Goa since August 2014.
Resident representative of the enterprise Kankan Kharghoria said, “Our mission, ‘Art for Life’ aims at connecting rural artists to the market directly and this has helped in alleviating over 10,000 families out of poverty and converted 15 marginalised villages to cultural destinations in Bengal and Bihar.”
He said, “We are global partner to UNWTO, National partner to UNESCO, have UN ECOSOC status and have advisory accreditation to UNESCO HQ on Intangible Cultural Heritage.”
Besides, the enterprise is keen to work with the folk artists of Goa in getting them connected to wider market and exploring possibility of strengthening cultural tourism. “For the first time, we are bringing rural traditional artists of both, Goa and Bengal together, creating a platform to interact with each other and to showcase to the audience in Goa,” said Kharghoria.
Bengal Goa Folk mela will continue till March 12.