India is a country with diverse cultures and traditions. The Surajkund International Crafts Mela is a handicraft fair organized about 40 km from Delhi at Surajkund in the Faridabad district of Haryana. The annual handicraft fair at Surajkund during the first fortnight of every February celebrates everything fine in Indian folk traditions and culture. Over a million people visit the crafts fair during the fortnight.
The 35th Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2022, which was to be held from February 4 to February 20, has been deferred due to the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Every Surajkund International Crafts Mela focuses on a partner nation and a theme state. The idea of having a focus nation was first mooted in 2009. Thailand was the first Focus Nation at the 26th Surajkund Crafts Mela in 2012. A group of African countries was the focus group at the 27th edition of Surajkund International Handicraft Mela. Sri Lanka, Lebanon, China, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, and was Focus Nation for the 28th Surajkund in 2014. So far, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, China, Japan, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan have been featured at the Surajkund fair as the Partner Nation.
Participation and Programmes
Like every year, this year’s Surajkund International Crafts Mela will see participation from across the globe–20 countries and every state of India. Scores of celebrated national and international folk artists and cultural groups will showcase their crafts and talents. Besides, they present cultural programs and performances at the two open-air theatres, or ‘chaupal’ as they are called, in the ‘Mela’ premises.
Folk dances and other cultural programs are performed every evening at the main Chaupal. The international fair is also home to a plethora of heritage handicrafts made using traditional skills, giving way to machine-made imitations. A special section of the ‘Mela’ showcases these heritage handicrafts.
The fair also boasts of a multi-cuisine Food Court. Ethnic cuisines from many parts of the world are prepared and served. In addition, international cuisine at the fair is very popular with visitors from home and abroad. Besides the Food Court, the fairground will also have designated places for amusement, adventure sports, and joyrides.
National to Global
The Surajkund International Crafts Mela was upgraded to “international” in 2013. In 2015 20 countries participated. Lebanon was the ‘Partner Nation,’ and Chhattisgarh, the ‘Theme State.’
The ‘Mela’ begins with a splash of colors, music, and drum beats.
The Surajkund International Crafts Mela is a celebration of the diversity of India. The ambience is rural and ethnic. It presents India’s exotic and exquisite handlooms, handicrafts, and handmade items. The goal of the Surajkund International Crafts Mela is to promote India’s art forms. The ‘Mela’ identifies languishing and lesser-known crafts and offers a forum for their exhibition and export as well.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Surajkund International Crafts Mela
When did the Surajkund fair begin?
This handicraft fair began as Surajkund Crafts Mela in 1987. With its popularity growing among foreign tourists, this annual national event was elevated to include international participants in 2013.
How many visitors come to the Surajkund Mela?
Since 2015, the number of people who visit the Surajkund International Crafts Mela has been over a million. It is now a regular affair on the international tourist calendar. The Surajkund International Crafts Mela is the world’s largest handicrafts fair.
Which is the theme state for the Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2022?
The Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2022 is the 35th edition of this international extravaganza. This year’s theme state is Jammu & Kashmir, although it is now a Union Territory administered by the Central Government.
Who are the organizers of the Surajkund fair?
The Surajkund craft fair is organized in collaboration with the state and the central governments. The principal organizers are the Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism. Key support comes from the central ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture, and External Affairs.