Flash mob, dance moves kickstart Indian cultural festival

A flash mob and dance moves from a Bollywood musical right at the Cairo International Airport kickstarted the second edition of the annual Indian cultural festival 'India by the Nile' in Egypt.

For the first time in the history of Cairo airport, several dance sequences from the musical 'Bollywood: A Love Story' were performed by the members of the cast within the premises of Terminal 3 of the airport Sunday, a press statement issued Monday by the Indian ministry for external affairs here said.

Earlier, the cast and crew of the musical were received at the airport by Egyptian Tourism Authority chairman Nasser Hamdy.

Later, several hundred bystanders and airport officials joined in the flash mob.

Hamdy formally welcomed the group and said that their presence and the spontaneous public participation in their performances showed the exceptional friendship between the peoples of Egypt and India.

He also expressed the hope that the cultural festival would send out a positive message that Egypt was safe for tourists and would help Egypt at this critical juncture.

"We are delighted to start our ambitious 'India by the Nile' cultural festival with this magnificent arrival ceremony at the airport," India's Ambassador to Egypt Navdeep Suri said in the statement.

"The festival will present a kaleidoscopic picture of India. Recognising the popularity of Indian films in Egypt, the programme not only includes the musical 'Bollywood: A Love Story' but also a panorama of Indian films and the participation of Shabaha Azmi and Javed Akhtar," he added.

He said there was, however, more to India than Bollywood and the festival would feature the classical Indian dance form Kathak, Rajasthani folk music, interactions between writers and intellectuals, cartoons by Sudhir Tailang, an exhibition of sarees and a week of Indian cuisine.

Sunday's events were made possible by the active participation of the Egyptian ministries of tourism, civil aviation, and information and broadcasting.

To be held in the Egyptian cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Hurghada and Luxor April 1-20, this year's event is the second edition and India's largest ever festival in Egypt and the largest foreign festival of any country in recent years, according to information provided by the Indian embassy in Egypt.

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