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UNESCO Partners the Second Rajasthan International Folk Festival RIFF 2008

The Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur that Rudyard Kipling once described as the “work of angels, fairies and giants” will host the second Rajasthan International Folk Festival RIFF 2008 from 10 to 14 October. Jodhpur RIFF is a partnership project involving two of India’s heritage trusts—Mehrangarh Museum Trust and Jaipur Virasat Foundation and is being organized in partnership with UNESCO to promote development through creative industries and the diversity of cultural expressions.

The festival will showcase traditional and folk music, bringing the internationally acclaimed folk maestros from Rajasthan , who will share the stage with Hungary’s best known Roma Gypsy band, Parno Graszt. It will also feature Phoebe Legere known as the female Beethoven, Parveen and Rehana Mirza, and the kings of classical Sarangi, Ustad Sultan Khan and many others. The Festival begins with a brief but very special recital of songs in the courtly tradition of Rajwaadi Maand, brought to life by Parveen Mirza, and her sister Rehana Mirza. Maand is a style of singing that originated and flourished in Rajasthan and is a legacy of the courtesans who were patronized by the royal families. It is an art form that is passed down through generations of the same family. It would not be unreasonable to say that this musical genre would be hard to replicate for any artist who has not been born and grown up within this cultural tradition

Besides events throughout the duration of the festival, there will be three large scale performances on the main stage, each followed by club acts in Club Mehran. The king of classical Sarangi, Ustad Sultan Khan will perform a repertoire that draws from his classical, folk and contemporary influences and he will be joined by one of Rajasthan’s most accomplished Sarangi players in the roots tradition, Lakha Khan.

The Festival is supported by UNESCO as part of its long-standing commitment to protect and promote World cultural diversity, in particular through the recognition of the status of marginalized rural artists and performers. UNESCO, as the only United Nations agency with responsibility for culture, has been entrusted with the dual mandate of promoting the “fruitful diversity of cultures” and the “free flow of ideas by word and image” as expressed in its constitution (1946). The frequently renewed challenges that have been raised in the domain of culture since UNESCO’s establishment have in turn prompted the organization to act as a standard-setter in the core areas of creative diversity, namely, cultural and natural heritage, movable cultural property, intangible cultural heritage and contemporary creativity.

For more information, visit www.jodhpurfolkfestival.org.

  • Source:UNESCO New Delhi
  • 15-09-2008
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