First Punjab Panorama Concluded on high note
The colorful maiden international contemporary art forum ‘Punjab Panorama Vol-1’ by the founder-director Sarah Singh, today concluded at the historic fort Qila Mubarak on the note of doling out more for the art and culture lovers. The inaugural event was marked by opening remarks from the Punjab Chief Minister’s wife and former Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur, along with the Ambassador of Greece to India Panos Kalogeropoulos, the Consul General Canada Christopher Gibbons, Yuvraj Raninder Singh, Tikka Shatrujeet Singh of Kapurthala, Sarah Singh, the founder-director of ‘Panorama Punjab’ and Punjab’s Tourism and Culture Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. During the event, souvenir book was launched.
Greece Ambassador Panos Kalogeropoulos talked about the India-Greece relations from the times of Alexander to present day and said that Punjab was land of Penta Potamia – five rivers. He said that tourism plays major role in economy of Greece for which it can lend support to Punjab and added that such program serve as catalyst in promoting tourism. Referring his visit to Sri Darbar Sahib Amritsar, he stated that it was an epicenter of spirituality that gives peace of mind. He added that by setting up Gurudwara Sahib at Greece, the brotherhood between Sikhs and people of Greece has got cemented. Canadian Counsel General Christopher Gibbons appreciated the effort and added that such events also fuel the economy.
Preneet Kaur congratulated Sarha Singh for holding a rich cultural fest at home town of Patiala’s Baba Ala Singh’s historic Qila Mubarak and giving international artists a stage to perform at the fest. She added that Punjab was not only a region known for agriculture, but was blessed with the finest of art, culture and heritage. She added that the CM Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh has handed over culture and tourism department, which was ignored in previous government, to dynamic person like Navjot Singh Sidhu who is dedicated to it. She added that Punjab government is developing Sufi Circuit, Maharaja Circuit, religious circuit and Mughal circuit. It aims at providing Indian Diaspora an easy way to connect with its roots, lest the young generation forgets it.
Navjot Singh Sidhu said that the Panorama Punjab was the first of its kind event that had unlocked state’s tourism potential by attracting art and history aficionados from across the globe. As many as five embassies had participated in the grand two-day event, which had witnessed the participation of globally reputed film artistes, troupes and Indian performers as well. Sidhu said that the Punjab Panorama was yet another effort of Punjab on hardselling state to the world as a tourist destination, which will help generate employment opportunities and propel growth in all dimensions. He added that the state government aims at earning 10 to 20 percent of its GDP from tourism on the lines of Switzerland, Thailand, Malaysia and other tourism intensive countries.
CM Captain Amarinder Singh’s son Yuvraj Raninder Singh reached with his father’s message stated that the Patiala Qila was a part of global heritage. The fort contains ancient paintings and samples of Sikh and Mughal architecture, which should be conserved. He added that the home of Gama Pehalwan, Mahindra College, house of Mirza Ghalib, Roza Sharif etc heritage sites are there in Patiala that need to be brought on world map.
Sarah Singh, the founder-director of ‘Panorama Punjab’, said the event had brought together internationally reputed cultural representatives, including, artists, museum directors, musicians, historians and curators. Among the participants are Greece, Canada, Swiss Arts Council, Goethe Instut and Asia Society.It had seen the representation of five major world museums (Denmark, Greece, UK, USA, Canada), 11 international film artists, 3 international performance artists and 3 Indian performance artists, she said.
She said Susan Stronge, senior curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, gave a presentation on “Arts of the Punjab”, while Elisavet Tsigarida, Director of the Ephorate of Antiquities of the Pella Museum in Greece, made a presentation on “When the Greeks Met the Indians” which traces the cultural impact and legacy of Alexander the Great. Besides, there was a special conversation on fashion, dedicated to Patialvi Parmeshwar Godrej, conducted between fashion designer JJ Valaya and Jill Spalding, a legendary journalist and editor who has worked with Vogue for nearly 40 years.
The event had seen a Bossa Nova Jazz concert by artistes from Belgium – the Bossa Brothers on March 3 and concluded today evening with classical music that explores the musical connections from Iran to Afghanistan via Punjab and Kashmir, with noted instrumentalists on the Tombak, Esraj, Santoor, Tabla and Rubab.
Prof Navneet Kaur from Government State College for Education conducted the stage. Prominent among others present included Patiala Mayor Sanjiv Sharma Bittu, OSD to CM Amrit Pratap Singh Honey Sekhon, Secretary tourism and cultural affairs Vikas Pratap, director SS Dhillon, SDM Anmol Singh Dhaliwal, SP city Kesar Singh, Lal Vishwash PCS(u.t.), DCPO Shaina Kapoor and art lovers were also present.