Friday, 27 June 2008

Bhutan : 42nd Smithsonian folklife festival opens in Washington DC

June 26: The 42nd Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC in the United States opened yesterday.

The National Mall is America’s sacred ground. It is here that millions of Americans throng every year to see the history of the nation. And one could say that the sacredness of the ground has been further enhanced by the recent activities related to the participation by Bhutan at the 42nd Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

The moment visitors come to the festival ground, they are greeted by the sight of an authentic Bhutanese temple. Bhutanese builders arrived here ahead of the other delegates to construct the Lhakhang which has been drawing the attention of visitors to the mall.

The temple with intricate carvings and impressive frescoes is a visual delight and is definitely the centerpiece of the festival.

A Layap tent and several tents to showcase the living culture of Bhutan including dance performances are up and ready for the almost one and a half million visitors that will come to the festival.

Visitors will also get to see archery, khuru, degor, sogsum and other traditional Bhutanese games at the festival.

An authentic Bhutanese kitchen will show visitors the daily goings on inside a Bhutanese kitchen. From Sand Mandalas made on the site by the monks of the central monastic body to bamboo bangchungs woven by artisans from remote parts of Bhutan, Bhutan’s participation is spread over an area of three football fields.

There will also be discussions on several topics including media, culture, GNH and traditional medicine. The festival will carry on till the July 6.

While Bhutan is the focus country at the 42nd Smithsonian Folklife Festival, visitors to the festival can also sample the food, music and wine of Texas and 50 Years of NASA.

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