The Embassy of India in Guatemala organized a commercial exhibition on Indian handicrafts – The Indian Panorama
- The Acting President of the Republic of Guatemala inaugurated the exhibition in the presence of diplomats from various countries
IS Saluja in Guatemala City
CAYALA TOWN, GUATEMALA (TIP): The Indian Embassy in Guatemala. hosted an impressive Indian Handicraft Trade Show from September 22-24, 2022 in Cayala City, Guatemala. The 3-day exhibition, organized by the B&S Foundation and the Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts, India was inaugurated on September 22 by the Acting President of the Republic of Guatemala, Mr. Guillermo Castillo Reyes who, in his brief speech , congratulated the Indian Ambassador to Guatemala. Mr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra for bringing Indian artisans to showcase their talent and products in Guatemala. In attendance were elected representatives and officials of the Guatemalan government, as well as diplomats from various countries.
The exhibition was part of the celebration of 75 years of India’s independence, celebrated as Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
10 master artisans have arrived from India to give a live demonstration of their art and craftsmanship. They were all national winners. Among them, Mrs. Bharti Dayal who won the national award in 2006 for the art of Mithila painting, Mr. Kalyan Prasad Joshi who won a national award in 2010 for the art of Phad painting, Mrs. KanukubenAmrutlalVankar who won a national award in 2011 for Handicraft of Kutchi Vegetable Indigo Cotton Silk Saree, Mr. LacchiRam who won a national award in 2006 for Terracotta Handicraft, Mr. Mohammad Nasir who won a national award in 2017 for the handicraft of Hand Block Print, Mr. Mohammad Haroon who won a national award in 2007 for woodcarving craftsmanship, Mr. Poonam Arjan Vankar who won a national award in 2013 for shawl craftsmanship in laine RabariKheshado, Ms. Pushpa Harit who won a national award for tribal bead jewelry craftsmanship, Mr. Roop Kishore Soni who won a national award in 2015 for the art of silver engraving, and Mr. Vivekananda Bagchi, who won a national award in 2010 for art cane and bamboo.
Acting President Guillermo visited each of the stalls and watched the magic of the gifted hands that had woven the magic and talked with the artisans about their arts and crafts. He was kind enough to spend time at each of the stalls and interact with the artisans and let them take a picture with him. Craftsmen gave him souvenirs. India’s Ambassador to the Republic of Guatemala, Mr. ManojKumar Mohapatra. suggested to the acting president to send artisans from Guatemala to India to interact with Indian artisans and explore a market for their products.
JThe Acting President also visited the Eye Foundation of America booth where he learned about the great humanitarian work being done by the Eye Foundation of America, which was founded by Dr. VK Raju, an eminent ophthalmologist based in Morgantown, in West Virginia. Presenting the Eye Foundation to His Excellency, Acting President Prof. Indrajit Saluja said Dr. Raju’s vision is to have a world without childhood blindness. The foundation provides eye care in many parts of the world like Africa, India and neighboring countries of India. Professor Saluja said Ambassador Mohapatra was keen for the Eye Foundation of America to provide eye care to Guatemalan children and work for a Guatemala without childhood blindness. Professor Saluja pointed out that the Eye Foundation of America has performed nearly 400,000 surgeries and corrected or restored the vision of thousands of people around the world. This is all pro bono, the Eye Foundation does not view its work as a business proposition but as a humanitarian service. His Excellency was very happy and said he would host the Eyefoundation in Guatemala. Ambassador Manoj Mohapatra also spoke to the Acting President of the Eye Foundation of America and informed His Excellency that Dr. VK Raju, President of the Eye Foundation of America would soon be visiting Guatemala to assess and determine the type and scope of services required in Guatemala.
A day before the trade show, the Indian Embassy held a fashion show in which models showcased Indian textiles and dresses. The two-hour fashion show was immensely appreciated by the gathering which included, among others, Ava Arevalo, Deputy Foreign Minister for Cultural Affairs, and diplomats from several countries. A day after the inauguration of the trade exhibition, the Indian Ambassador, Mr. Manoj Kumar Mohapatra hosted a dinner at which the Acting President of Guatemala was the main guest. Among the guests were ministers and officials of the Guatemalan government and diplomats from various countries, artisans from India and members of the community of Indian origin.
Addressing the gathering, the Indian Ambassador spoke about the areas of cooperation between India and Guatemala and called on the government of Guatemala for a mutually beneficial alliance in the areas of trade and commerce.
The Embassy of India in Guatemala also organized a Yoga session for schoolchildren. In the picturesque town of Panajechel on September 24. About 40 enthusiastic students participated in the yoga session. I was quite surprised to find yoga in schools in Guatemala. Ambassador Mohapatra told me that the embassy regularly organizes yoga camps. It was obvious that the Indian Embassy had popularized Yoga in Guatemala.