A rendezvous with Kuwait

A rendezvous with Kuwait

Traditional yet lively folk music of Kuwait brought alive the audience at Kamani Auditorium when a reputed dance and music group of the Arab nation recently performed in the City.


Members of the Kuwaiti TV Band performs during the event.The 16-member group, comprising all men in their 40s and 50s, performed folk and sea music of the gulf region as part of ‘Kuwaiti Cultural Week’ organised by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

The performance by ‘Kuwaiti TV Band’ was from the collection of traditional folk beats and songs that sailors and traders used to sing when the country had not discovered oil and was largely dependent on resources from other regions such as India and Africa.

Though the audience largely could not understand the lyrics of the songs yet everybody enjoyed the music and performance in which six members of the band played traditional musical instruments, while the rest 10 sang using a unique style of clapping which emerged as the sound produced from kartals. The band has been performing national and internationally for many decades not just in West Asia but non-Arab nations too like France, Britain, Sri Lanka. The cultural performance was part of the week-long programme including display of Kuwaiti traditional boats/ships, building, heritage, textile, modern and traditional artwork and photographs at Lalit Kala Akademi.

Models of ships of various sizes were also exhibited as part of Kuwait’s heritage since its people have been making and using them for various purposes before the discovery of oil. Talal-al-Sultan, head of the 23-member Kuwaiti delegation which is on visit to India for this festival, said ships and boats have a cultural and historical relationship with Kuwait.

“Before the discovery of oil, apart from diving for finding pearls hunting over the sea, for sweet water delivery and for shipping stones for building construction, ships were also used for long-distance sailing for trading purpose, bringing spice, wood and ropes from other countries including India, South Africa,” he said.

The photographs, paintings and other artworks depicted the story of modern and traditional Kuwait, adapting to modernisation and trying to conserve the history. Lately, India and Kuwait have been making regular exchanges at cultural level. A ‘Festival of India’ in Kuwait was held in 2009 which included exhibition and performances by 130 Indian artistes including Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Shiv Kumar Sharma. Indian architectural designs have highly inspired Kuwait’s civil construction. A replica of a wooden door carved with Indian design was also on display.

ICCR Director General Suresh K Goel said people of India and Kuwait share historical civilisation traditions which vividly reflect in Indian architectural patterns, traditional dresses, festivals and rituals. “The Gulf region where Kuwait is geographically situated has been an important destination for Indian trade for a millennium and there is enough evidence to establish arrival of Indian traders in this region on their way even to Africa and North Mediterranean,” he said.

The exhibition will shift to Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur today.

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