Leading authors, artistes, researchers and opinion makers from South Asia are reaching Bhutan’s capital Thimphu to exchange ideas on developing narratives and freshly told stories. They will take part in the three-day literary festival – ‘Mountain Echoes’.
A report published in the News stated that the event will see more than 70 speakers sharing their thoughts with local and international participants. The festival is an outcome of the wish of the festival’s Royal Patron Her Majesty the Royal Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, then Ambassador of India to Bhutan
Pavan Varma and festival Director Namita Gokhale in 2010. It also commemorates 50 years of formal diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan.
The report further quoted author and festival co-Director, Namita Gokhale as saying, “‘Mountain Echoes’ is an exuberant celebration of cultural connectivity, resonating with the joys of books and cinema, the shared narratives of music and folklore, food and sport, as well as deep spiritual perspectives, and the challenges of our changing world. This year, we also have a special and important focus honouring the strong ties between India and Bhutan in their 50th year of diplomatic relations.”
The festival started small with just about 25 authors and a single venue. Now, it has five venues, with workshops, exhibitions, panel discussions, music concerts, stand-ups, performances, etc., all happening.
It has grown into an international festival of art, literature and culture with global representation. The festival is an embodiment of an enriching sharing of cultures between Bhutan and India in every sense – oral traditions, storytelling, and the written word – in every genre.
Speaking on the efforts put by the organisers to make the event successful, festival co-Director Pramod Kumar KG, says, “Our aim has always been to bring a different flavours to the festival each year and the ninth edition will be yet another powerful celebration of literature.” Even the participants and speakers are pretty excited about taking part in the event.
“The niche festival will spark the imagination of both local and global audiences through a diverse range of electrifying conversations. We cordially invite all not only to be part of the conversations but also experience the beauty and rich culture and history of Bhutan. In 2018, we are all set to take the notch higher with an exciting canvas for all attendees, who will get a glimpse into our varied cultural heritage through the numerous gatherings planned over the three days,” says Bhutanese author and festival co-Director, Tshering Tashi.