Mountain Echoes – A Literary Festival
From Mita Kapur of Siyahi
Siyahi presents Mountain Echoes – a literature festival focusing on the magic and mystique of writings off and from the Himalayan regions. The three-day literary festival will be held between 15th and 20th May 2010 in Thimphu, Bhutan, under the aegis of the India Bhutan Foundation who will be hosting the entire festival.
Bhutan, a little kingdom in the shadows of the Himalayas provides a perfect setting for the festival which will communicate tales of our shared landscape in the Himalayan region, both as places of ecological and inspirational value as well as the region’s cultural leitmotif always underscored by a spirit of adventure. The air and atmosphere of Bhutan helps creating a mood of liveliness, joie de vivre and a cherishing of moments where stories are told, poems and song are sung.
The programme will be spread over three days and will focus on unique stories from the mountains with writers from different tracts of the Trans-Himalayan belt, sharing their ideas and literary traditions. Mountain Echoes will provide a platform for authors from India and Bhutan to get together and engage in a cultural dialogue and understand the Indian and Bhutanese literature in all its myriad forms and dimensions. The event will also bring some international authors, poets and performers together at the colourful and vibrant land of the lamas. It will be a major step taken to create an interface between the cultural relationship shared by India and Bhutan. Creative interpretations of the diverse richness found in mountain stories will be at the heart of the festival, to promote an understanding and appreciation of these very special spaces of ecological and cultural distinctiveness. Namita Gokhale is the Programme Consultant and advisor for the festival. The festival was conceptualised by Pavan K. Varma who is currently the Indian Ambassador to Bhutan.
Her Majesty, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Karma Singye Dorji, Karma Ura, Kinley Dorji, Kunzang Choden, Khyentse Norbu and Sonam Kinga from Bhutan will gather for sessions like Hills are Alive, Beyond the Frame, Of Women, By Women, Travellers and Magicians, Winds of Change, and Languages of Belonging to share the stories, tales and folk narratives of Bhutan. The speakers’ list also includes Patrick French, Chetan Bhagat, Namita Gokahle, Pavan K. Varma, Mamang Dai, Kynpham Sing, Kirin Narayan, Leila Seth, Temsula Ao, Ravi Singh, Urvashi Butalia, Bulbul Sharma, Kirin Narayan, Omair Ahmad and Sampurna Chattarji. They will participate in sessions like Bhutan through the Ages, Grandmother’s Tales, History & Biographies, Language and Identity, Poetry and Archery, Shared Dreams and Shared Metaphors, Young Readers, Young Writers, Writing about Mountains, Architecture and Heritage, Music, Love, Poetry, These Hills called Home, and The Himalayas to name a few.