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Bonn Biennale on the Rhine greets India

June 2006
Bonn Biennale on the Rhine greets India

Is Europe going gaga over India this year? Or is the spike in interest among many nations just a coincidence? Despite the inevitable skeptics, who may dismiss what they see as an excessive preoccupation with what others (read ‘foreigners') think of India, the Rising Elephant's current appeal is a phenomenon worth mentioning. The World Economic Forum summit in the mountains of Switzerland was a good example. As a leading newsweekly put it, "Well, this year, India came, saw and conquered Davos 2006." And as Khabar recently noted, the historic city of Lille in the French Flanders is hosting an India-themed cultural extravaganza called ‘Bombaysers de Ville 3000'. So did Bonn in Germany, where the 2006 Biennale showcased Indian culture in a big way. No less than 16 theater and dance groups took part, and there were also exhibitions, popular and classical music concerts, film shows, lectures, book readings, and even an opera (Satyagraha). Staged versions of the Mahabharata and Midnight's Children were presented. The participants included Rukmini Devi Arundale, Habib Tanvir, Leela Samson, Vikram Seth, Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Mishra.

��� "India is ‘in' so far as Germany is concerned, there's no question about it," declares Deutsche Welle. "Everybody in the industry wants to be part of the Indian economic wonder. India is the focus at the Hanover Trade Fair. Across cinemas and discotheques in Germany, they're beating the Bollywood beat. And naturally there's the Frankfurt Book Fair in the fall, where India is the theme country for a second time." Other such events in Europe include the Night of India Festival in Marseille, focusing on dance, and the Florence Indian Film Festival, dealing exclusively with films from and about India.

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