Go Now: The Eighth Edition of Mountain Echoes Literary Festival, Bhutan, is Here

Meet Dr Shashi Tharoor, Barkha Dutt, Imtiaz Ali and Markus Zusak, among others.  
A masked dance performance by the students of the Royal Academy of Performing Arts at the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival 2016. Photo Courtesy: Bhuwan Kafley, Mountain Echoes Lit Fest

The wheels of the eighth edition of Bhutan’s Mountain Echoes Literary Festival are ready to be set in motion later this month (it’s the long weekend!). With the theme ‘Untouched Beauty, Unexplored Ideas and Unstoppable Voices’ the fest will be exploring unmapped territories of global and local literatures, cultures, and arts. Here’s a teaser of what you can expect from the intriguing mix of conversations and workshops.

 

Namita Gokhale at the Mountain Echoes Festival last year. Photo Courtesy: Bhuwan Kafley, Mountain Echoes Lit Fest

Namita Gokhale at the Mountain Echoes Festival last year. Photo Courtesy: Juhi Sharma, Mountain Echoes Lit Fest

Impact of the written and spoken word

70 experts from Bhutan and the world will pool their literary best at the convention. Ruskin Bond will be talking to Amrita Tripathi in a dialog titled ‘Tales of Mountain Roads’. Writer Ashwin Sanghi will be speaking on ‘The Karma of Writing’. Discussions with director Imtiaz Ali, authoress Vayu Naidu, and the 11-year-old writer Yeshi Tsheyang Zang are also interesting ones to watch out for. Workshops on the art of translation and creative writing by Jerry Pinto and Tess Lewis are scheduled during the 3 days.

 

Mountains echoing with music

Students of Bhutan’s College of Language and Culture Studies will be performing the Drametse Ngacham, an ancient dance ritual central to the Buddhist traditions of Bhutan. There will also be a musical night with local performers like singer Sangay Lhaden, pop band The Baby Boomers and dance troupes Druk Jackson and Waki Nation Crew.

 

Rahul Ram, from the Indian band Indian Ocean, performing at the festival last year. Photo Courtesy: The Mountain Echoes Lit Fest

Rahul Ram, from the Indian band Indian Ocean, performing at the festival last year.
Photo Courtesy: The Mountain Echoes Lit Fest

On fashion and food

Culturally significant garbs of India and Bhutan will receive a modern touch in the collections spun out by eminent designers of the two countries. ‘The Sari Series’, a documentary film by Mallika Verma Kashyap, will take the audience through the evolution stories of the countless styles of draping a sari.

Celebrated model and chef Padma Lakshmi will talk to Barkha Dutt about her tryst with food since childhood, meeting different cultures of the world through food, and what plating up means to her. Food, like fashion, binds strewn lands with a language of its own.

 

History and spirituality

Her Majesty the Royal Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck will take the audience through Bhutan’s enigmatic Zabdrung history and its spiritual implications. ‘Shades of Green’ is a walk hosted by Rebecca Pradhan, amid Timphu’s rich and varied terrains.

 

Essentials

What: Bhutan’s Mountain Echoes Literary Festival 2017

When: The Festival will be inaugurated on 24th August, followed by talks, exhibitions, and workshops from 25th to 27th of August.

Where: The capital city of Timphu will host the Festival. Get a list of the programmes and venues here.

Entry to the inauguration and talks is free for all. The workshops require prior registration that can be done here.

A delegation fee of Rs3000/day will provide access to lunch, tea, and coffee on the Festival dates, and the Inauguration Dinner at the Nehru Wangchuck Cultural Centre on 24th August.

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