ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Scent of Politics

The Meghalaya government’s cherry blossom festival is more a marketing stunt to attract tourists than an expression of the state’s culture.

Cherry blossoms are beautiful. It is not surprising that the Meghalaya government is using these pink and white flowers to attract tourists, although less charitable observers might say it is trying to distract the state’s residents from its incompetence. I am referring to the recently concluded India International Cherry Blossom Festival, which took place in Shillong, the state capital, from 8 to 11 November, the second year the government has held such an event.

This year, the festival included drawing and archery competitions, storytelling sessions, a rock show, a stunt bikers’ display, a beauty pageant, food stalls and something called a “cherry blossom” run. Why this line-up warranted the additional label of “international” this year is a mystery. Perhaps the government has pretensions of being on a par with Japan, where cherry blossoms are an important part of the national culture, finding frequent representation in poetry and painting.

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Updated On : 18th Dec, 2017
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