The Cherry Blossom Festival 2018 is being elevated to international status:Conrad

Shillong, Nov 14: The India International Cherry Blossom Festival, 2018 organised by the Forest & Environment Department, Government of Meghalaya and Institute of Bioresources & Sustainable Development (IBSD) in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Government of India was inaugurated today by the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Shri. Conrad K Sangma at a programme held at Dalang Open Stage, Polo 5th Ground, Shillong.

The opening ceremony of the festival was also attended by Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India, Meghalaya Home Minister, Shri. James P.K Sangma, Tourism Minister, Shri. Metbah Lyngdoh, Health Minister, Shri. A.L Hek, Education Minister, Shri. Lahkmen Rymbui, Deputy Speaker, Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, Shri. Timothy D Shira and state government official.

During his inaugural address, the Chief Guest, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Shri Conrad K Sangma said that Cherry Blossom Festival 2018 is being elevated to international status with the participation of the Government of Japan through its delegates while also stating that the significance of the festival goes beyond the blooming of cherry trees as it also creates a space for mutual exchange of culture and ideas.

He also said that the festival has provided a platform to celebrate the autumn season and during this celebration, the festival will provide a mosaic of sports, culture and culinary delights of the State of Meghalaya, North East India and also Japan. The Chief Minister said that the Indo-Japan collaboration has taken a leap forward because of the efforts that have been made by the Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and also stated that the festival represents one of the ways of strengthening that relationship further.

The Chief Minister also said that the festival will give a big boost to tourism not just in Meghalaya but in the entire North Eastern Region and expressed hope that the state witnesses more visitors than the impressive footfall at the festival held last year. Guest of Honour, Ambassador of Japan to India , Mr.Kenji Hiramatsu meanwhile in his speech stated that the festival is symbolic of the friendship between India and Japan and provides a channel for people to people and cultural exchanges between India and Japan which will in turn promote stronger bonds between the two countries.

During the programme, the Chief Minister also handed over the Meghalaya Entrepreneurship Recognition Award (MEG-ERA) to Shri. Perastill R Sangma, an entrepreneur from Garo Hills. The award consists of a citation and a cash award of one lakh rupees. On the occasion, the Chief Minister along with the other dignitaries also visited the stalls put up at the venue by various Government Departments and entrepreneurs. The inaugural day of the Four day festival featured events including Sky Diving, Painting and Drawing Competition, Dog Show, Story Telling, Fashion show and Cutie kids competition among others.




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