The National Harmony Event was featured in the Limca Book of Records in 2009 for the largest number of performances in 11 days. This year, the cultural extravaganza will begin on May 21.
Founded and organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Sanskrutik Sangh (ABSS), Pune, the concept of a national-level festival originated in 2004, when Ratna Wagh and her husband were invited to be part of a small cultural festival in Odisha.
The event will showcase multilingual dramas, music, dance and art. Around 500 artistes performed for the fest’s first edition held in 2005. This year, more than 8,000 artistes from all over the country will take part in it.
Wagh elaborates that the dance forms that will be showcased at the event include Kathakali and Manipuri. Gurkha folk dances will also be showcased at the event. Apart from that there will be 35 multi-lingual dramas from Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala among others.
For the past 12 years, ABSS has been working with children at the grassroot level. “Our aim is to coordinate among the different art forms and cultures. We want to develop a well established cultural platform and offer career opportunities for amateur artistes,” adds Wagh. They also aspire to create awareness among common people about cultural traditions, different classical and folk art forms.