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Shillong's Cherry Blossom & Literature Festivals Left the Crowds Mesmerized

News Desk, News Nation 360 : Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad K Sangma and Ambassador of Japan to India H. E. Satoshi Suzuki, inaugurated the 5th edition of the Shillong Cherry Blossom Festival 2021 and the 1st edition of the Shillong Literature Festival at Wards Lake & Polo Ground in Meghalaya. The festival coincides with the actual blooming of cherry blossom flowers in the state, featuring special performances from acclaimed artists with jam-packed crowds to see blossoms close to hitting peak bloom. The three-day festival, from 25-27 November 2021, witnessed a footfall of 50000 tourists and citizens. The cherry blossom trees in Shillong & Sikkim were planted mostly between 1955 to 1975, under the leadership of the state’s first Chief Secretary, Nari K Rustomji, who brought seeds from Japan and scattered them in the forested area around his residence. He later ordered the then-District Forest Officer, late Mr Wahlang, to transplant the saplings to the banks of the Umkhrah near Polo Grounds, Ward’s Lake and Lady Hydari Park. Later, the Forest Department propagated it around the city. The first edition of the Shillong Literature Festival witnessed a massive footfall of 10 thousand in three days at Wards Lake with “The Hills are alive” performance of Aroha Choir at the inaugural ceremony. The reading Hub gave the option of reading, interacting with authors and donating books, while young visitors aged 18-30 participated in Painting, Illustration, Short story, Essay, Poetry & Photography competition. A panel discussion with authors and artists and hip-hop performances by Khasibloodz, the lit fest also saw a quirky fashion show of recycled material by CatxLizz. Also, four books were launched during the festival including “Marriage” by Devdutt Patnaik. Shillong has produced literati like U SoSo Tham & inspired Rabindranath Tagore, Varrier Elwin and others. The literature festival provided a platform for sharing of ideas by contemporary artists by forging ahead of the rich oral traditions. The concluding ceremony had

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veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah unplugged through candid conversation. In his brief address, the Deputy Chief Minister, P Tynsong said that the festival is a run-up to the State 50th Statehood celebration and dedication to the people of Meghalaya. The state will witness many more events to mark the Statehood celebration.

Pic : Courtesy

Report : Anustup Kundu