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State to host Terra Madre Festival in Nov

Event being held for the first time in India

SHILLONG: Meghalaya will play host to the first International Indigenous Terra Madre Festival in India in November this year.
The five-day event will be jointly hosted by the State Government, North East Slow and Agro-biodiversity Society along with 40 villages from across the State besides five villages from Nagaland which have voluntarily offered to co-host the event.
The festival will see participation from 500 international delegations belonging to 70 to 80 indigenous tribes from as many as 40 countries.
“We have agreed in principle to give our cooperation and support to host the prestigious event which is being held for the first time in India. The State Government is also very happy to be co-hosting the event,” Chief Minister Mukul Sangma told newsmen after the first meeting of the State Level Steering Committee on Indigenous Terra Madre, 2015 here on Friday.
The Chief Minister also said that the event provided a massive opportunity to the region to showcase its rich culture, tradition and way of life to the rest of the globe.
It may be mentioned that the first Indigenous Terra Madre was held from June 17 to 19, 2011, in Jokkmokk (Sápmi, northern Sweden). It was organized by Slow Food Sápmi, Slow Food Sweden and Slow Food.
Meanwhile, Sangma also informed that the State has already set some exercises in motion as far as hosting the event was concerned.
“We have sought the clearance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to allow the State to host this festival. We have deputed certain officials to closely follow up with the Ministry to get clearance at the earliest,” Sangma said.
He said that the State is also hoping for massive participation from the people in the event.
“I will also write to Chief Ministers of the North Eastern States to send some of their cultural troupes to perform during the festival,” he said.
According to initial calculations, the estimated budget for the event is Rs 10 crore, Sangma said adding that the figure might get bigger later.
Meanwhile, NESPAS chairman, Phrang Roy said the event will focus on local food systems, traditional knowledge, the diversity of indigenous languages and the preservation of agro biodiversity. He also informed that Prince Charlewill give a video message on the occasion and some other international celebrities are also expected to participate in the event.

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