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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 14:

The Patha Utsav on Sunday was soaked in the colour of love and Holi dominated the entire 1.2 km stretch of Janpath between Master Canteen and Ram Mandir Square in Odisha capital as the safety concerns and herbal themes were the key points. However, presence of a Japanese troupe at the event was an added attraction, as the foreign troupe also played Holi and celebrated it through dance.

The Japanese tourists were here as part of the Year of Japan India Friendly Exchanges as the year 2017 has been designated by both the nations. A big group of 40 Japanese tourists are thus part of the troupe and they came to Patha Utsav to see the street festival and also play the Festival of Colours with such a huge crowd through their performances. They were led by international tourism ambassador of Kyoto city, Japan, Kunna Dash.

During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan in November last year, the two Prime Ministers agreed to mark the year 2017 as a year of Japan-India Friendly Exchanges to further enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two nations. The year 2017 also marks the 60th anniversary since the Cultural Agreement came into force in 1957. On this occasion, various commemorating events will be held in both countries. It is expected that friendly relationship will be further strengthened through such events so that mutual exchanges in various levels and fields will be further deepened and mutual understanding will be further promoted.

On the other hand, a cultural team from Maharashtra also performed at Patha Utsav with the crowd cheering to their numbers. The unique `Dhol’ are part of the Nasik region and are different from those found here and in Eastern Indian states. In fact, the troupe was part of the celebration of Festival of Maharashtra in Odisha under “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat” and it was held at Utkal Mandap from March 9th to 12th.

“Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat” is an initiative to pay tribute to Sardar Patel, who played a key role in integrating the nation, for his great contributions to the nation. This initiative can build bonds between the people of various States of India.

“Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” will celebrate the cultural vibrancy of India while establishing a concrete mechanism to inculcate nationalism and cultural awareness among the fellow citizens. This program me will give a boost to the existing cultural connect between different parts of the country and enhance interaction between people living in different states.