On August 28, 2017 0 comments
If you had told me last month that a simple, Zimbabwean young man like me, who has only experienced and witnessed most of the cultures of other countries from what is served to me over the internet, was going to experience from start to end how a proper Indian Bollywood show is put together, I would have asked you what you were smoking! The chances that you get exposed to such intimate details of such rich culture are slim especially when you’re in Zimbabwe. Most foreigners venture to Zimbabwe for business, leisure or the business of leisure related matters, but hardly to ever showcase and share their cultures and ways. And so a gap exists.
Leveraging on the deep history and relationship that exists between India and Zimbabwe the Indian Embassy decided to bridge this cultural gap with the India in The Sunshine City Festival. A festival that invites event organizers, artists, musicians, dancers, performers from India to work and collaborate with Zimbabweans across disciplines and create 15 days of magic, entertainment and sharing of knowledge. Creating an opportunity for young people such as myself to not only experience the festival as an audience but to get involved in it in a deeper manner by being part of the team that organizes it has given the festival another dimension. Working side by side with artists, musicians and interacting with the cultured people has been an invaluable experience.
This is the significance of holding the festival of India in Zimbabwe. Exposing the average man in Zimbabwe to what he would have never imagined he would experience. Bridging the gap between two cultures resulting in a stronger relationship, creating a more vibrant set of people and sharing knowledge and experiences. However, it is not only for the average Zimbabwean, but the Indian communities in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa as well. They get a piece of home brought to them, and you can tell by the way they immerse themselves in the festival how proud they are of their culture and how excited they are to share those experiences with their Zimbabwean friends. It also makes the country more comfortable and welcoming for them to live in.
The interaction that most Zimbabweans have with the Indian community is mostly business related. There’s usually some sort of transaction that is happening, one is selling, one is buying or there’s a partnership going on and this is the relationship that initially exists between our people. The festival has created a platform for our people to come together and fellowship other than just negotiate, to experience each other’s lighter and cultural sides instead of our formal looks, and know more about each other, not just each other’s transactional values.
Holding the festival of India in Zimbabwe strengthens the relationship between the two countries beyond business in the social realm as well. Now all that is left is to reciprocate this culture and idea sharing activity to India from Zimbabwe too and we would have truly bridged our gap.