Indo-German festival aims at improving urban life | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 30.10.2012
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Indo-German festival aims at improving urban life

A grand festival is being held in the Indian capital New Delhi to commemorate 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Germany. The theme of the Indo-German Urban Festival aims at improving city life.

The nine-day "Indo-German Urban Mela" aims at providing cheap and easy-to-implement creative solutions to the problems faced by people living in big cities.

According to the organizers, the socio-cultural festival has attracted more than forty thousand visitors since its start on Saturday, 27th October.

Musician Asad Ali Khan performs at Indo-German Urban Mela (Photo: Iftikhar Gilani, DW correspondent India, Delhi)

Several German and Indian bands are playing fusion music at the festival

The organizers told DW that the festival had been designed to commemorate 60 years of diplomatic ties between India and Germany. They said that similar events had already taken place in India's financial capital Mumbai as well as in Bangalore and Chennai. These festivals bring together businessmen, writers, artists and thinkers from both India and Germany.

There are also a number of food stalls at the festival selling Indian and German cuisine.

German artists

German graphic novelist Barbara Yelin is conducting special comic workshop at the festival and is presenting comic illustrations through which she narrates her experience of living in a city.

An illustrationen by Barbara Yelin

Barbara Yelin is creating a comic diary of her experiences at the festival

Another festival attraction is the work of Markus Heinsdorff, a German installation artist. Heinsdorff is exhibiting sixteen different designs of make-shift tents highlighting various aspects of Indo-German relations.

Urban problems

"We have been very pleased with the turnout at the festival," Farah Batool, project manager of the festival, told DW. She said that various workshops on the theme of "urban problems" were being organized. She said that a novel "window farming" concept was being presented to Indians so that they would learn to plant vegetables, fruits and flowers on their balconies.

"Films and documentaries on environmental issues are also being shown. Apart from that, we have invited a number of musical bands of Germany and India to the festival to entertain people."

Children learn water conservation methods at Indo-German Urban Mela (Photo: Iftikhar Gilani, DW correspondent India, Delhi)

The festival includes special activities for school children

"We have learnt to protect our environment, not only for ourselves but also for posterity," a sixth-grade student visiting the festival with teachers and classmates told DW.


Commenting on the historical Indo-German relations, Michael Steiner, the German ambassador to India, said that India and Germany were not only strategic partners in South Asia but were also "neighbors."

"In today's globalized world, you don't only have to be geographically close to each other to be neighbors," Steiner told DW. "What makes you a neighbor is ideological closeness, common values and similar goals. For that reason, India is Germany's neighbor."

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