Report: Arif Naqvi

During my 56 years stay in Berlin I never saw such an enthusiasm of people at the Indian embassy in Berlin as on 1st October, a day before Gandhi Jayanti and two days before the German Unification Day. Three thousand people from all walks of life and from different nationalities including many high officials and diplomats and also many Pakistanis and from other nationalities such as USA, Japan, France, Switzerland, Italy , Bulgaria etc. joined to enjoy the Indian food festival. The foreign guests including those from Pakistan were received very friendly by the Indian hosts and given the opportunity to feel homely.
The food festival at the premises of the Indian embassy at Tiergarten, Berlin, was very well organised by the Indian associations as part of the "India @71", with 12 food stalls from different states of India, catering a variety of choicest Indian cuisines from North east India, Karnataka, Bengal, Gujarat, Punjab, Telengana, Uttarpradesh, New Delhi, Tamil Nadu; Maharashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan etc. The guests were highly appreciative of the delicacies, which represented the regional taste of different states.

In addition to the food stalls, a seperate enclousure was also present , catering to providing information about touristic attractions of India, as well as providing material on India's literature. A very colourful cultural programme was also organized in the embassy auditorium with classical and modern Indian music including the hits of Bollywood. many young girls were especially interested in traditional Henna paintings, which was arranged in one corner of the hall.

It was highly impressive to see the great interest and enthusiasm which 3000 thousand people showed in Indian Food Festival and cultural programmes, organised by the Indian embassy in Berlin, which provided opportunity to further enhance the understanding of diversity in India and win the hearts of the people.