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Saudi national cultural festival honours India, is biggest in Gulf

Al Janadria, the national cultural festival of Saudi Arabia that has India as the 'Guest of Honour' country this year, is being inaugurated on Wednesday near here by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The festival was begun in 1985 under the patronage of the ruling monarch. This year too King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the patron of the festival, the biggest cultural festival of the Gulf that brings to life the culture and heritage of the oil-rich desert kingdom of 32 million people. From the rich tapestry of colours, aroma of delicacies, reverberating sound of music to insightful intellectual debates, the two-week long festival has something for all. 2018 marks the 32nd edition of the festival. Organised every year by the Saudi National Guard, a primary goal of this festival is to highlight Saudi Arabia's Islamic identity, display its national heritage and help preserve it for generations to come. However, Al Janadria is not only aiming to educate i..

Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India was people's will, says Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma

New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India was the will of the people of the state, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said on Thursday. Sharma was inaugurating an exhibition at the National Archive Museum commemorating 70 years of the state's accession to India. The exhibition has on display war diaries with operational details of the India-Pakistan war of 1947-48, original letters, telegrams, documents, and citations. File image of Union minister Mahesh Sharma. PTI All these have been publicly shared by the Ministry of Defence for the first time. "The purpose of curating this (exhibition) is to show the young generation how Kashmir became a part of India. It (The accession) was the will of the people of Kashmir," Sharma said. "Maharaja Hari Singh, when he signed this instrument (of accession), only after that, I repeat, only after that, the Indian forces went to that area. This needs to be showcased," he said. Sharma said the people of Kashmir have been "sometimes questi..

A Lavish Bollywood Musical Is Fueling A Culture War In India

Enlarge this image A cyclist rides past a poster of the controversial film Padmaavat in Bangalore on Thursday. Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images Padmaavat, India's first 3-D IMAX spectacle, is a lavish, operatic Bollywood musical set in the 14th-century palaces and deserts of Rajasthan. It has elephant processions, kaleidoscopic tableaus of Indian palaces and gorgeous actors in bejeweled costumes. It was directed by one of India's most celebrated filmmakers, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and stars one of the country's most popular actresses, Deepika Padukone. The film opens in India on Thursday, but from the moment it went into production, it's been plagued by violent protests over its depiction of Padukone's character, Queen Padmavati, a legendary Hindu royal. "It's a historic film," Padukone told NPR in 2017. "And the character that I play is someone who, historically, there's a certain section of..

Commentary: Indonesia's anti-corruption drive needs a reality check

JAKARTA: With the shocking revelation around the Keppel scandal, questions have arisen why such practices persist after decades of anti-corruption movements globally, including in Indonesia, one of Singapore’s closest neighbours. A local news report in Singapore also asked on Sunday (Jan 7) if a culture of corruption in Indonesia is contributing to Singapore businesses resorting to bribery or turning a blind eye when local partners engage in such practices. When it comes to fighting corruption, it seems Indonesia can catch no break. Efforts have been relentless. The slogan of KKN (corruption, collusion and nepotism) has been ringing hard for Indonesians since the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998. In 2003, Indonesia established the Anti-corruption Commission (KPK). But the Commission has since continuously received resistance, particularly from House members looking to revise the law to curtail its powers. Corruption remains a challenge. Hardly a day goes by without corruption cases m..

F&N launches reverse vending machine to encourage recycling

SINGAPORE: Instead of dispensing items, this vending machine accepts them. Food and beverage company Fraser and Neave (F&N) paired up with NTUC FairPrice to launch its first reverse vending machine at Waterway Point on Tuesday (Jan 9). It works by accepting used cans and bottles and uses "advanced technology to identify, sort and collect" the containers. For every five used containers they recycle, users of the machine will be given a S$0.50 voucher to purchase F&N's Ice Mountain water at FairPrice supermarkets. In a news release, F&N said its recycling programme aims to offer Singaporeans a convenient way of recycling used cans and bottles with the help of the machine. More reverse vending machines will soon be installed at Yew Tee Point and Bukit Merah Central's FairPrice outlets. AdvertisementAdvertisement"With the launch of this initiative, F&N reinforces our commitment to play our part in protecting the environment by ensuring that our packaging is environmentally frien..

'India Remixed': IU launches second Global Arts and Humanities Festival

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Beginning in February, IU Bloomington will host the largest Indian arts and culture festival ever mounted in the Midwest when it kicks off its second Global Arts and Humanities Festival. The 2018 festival, "India Remixed: A Global Arts and Humanities Festival," is sponsored by the IU Bloomington Arts and Humanities Council with support from various units and departments across campus. Most of the more than 30 events -- which include exhibits, performances and films -- are free and open to the public. "Indiana University has a rich history of friendship and partnership with individuals and universities in India," said IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. "We have a thriving gateway office in India, and many of our faculty and students come to us from India. 'India Remixed' invites the Bloomington campus and community to celebrate India's contemporary cultural and humanistic contributions in areas including film, literature..

Could K-Film Ever Be As Popular As K-Pop In Asia?

BTS attends the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images) We all know about the growing popularity of South Korean cultural products in Asia, first with K-drama, and then K-pop – which reached a new peak in 2017 thanks to boy band BTS. What’s next? It's likely to be K-films. In Hong Kong, for example, the South Korean film Train to Busan was the second-top earner in the box office in 2016, after the Marvel superhero movie Captain America: Civil War. Train to Busan, a zombie movie, earned about $93 million globally, including $8.5 million from Hong Kong, while its total production cost was only about $11 million. And soon, there will be another test for K-films. A heavily computer graphic-assisted fantasy film called Along with the Gods: Two Worlds is scheduled to be released on 11 January for Hong Kong and Singapore audiences. The movie has already been performing well in other overseas ..

China's Geely takes US$3.3 billion stake in Swedish truck maker Volvo

Technology Activist investor Cevian Capital has agreed to sell its 8.2 percent stake in Swedish truck maker AB Volvo to China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, Cevian and Geely announced in a joint statement on Wednesday. A building of the Geely Auto Research Institute is seen in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, China August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song/Files27 Dec 2017 03:40PM(Updated: 27 Dec 2017 06:00PM) Share this contentBookmarkSTOCKHOLM: China's Geely Holding , which already owns the Volvo Car Group, is buying an 8.2 percent stake in Swedish truck maker AB Volvo from activist investor Cevian Capital for around US$3.3 billion. Volvo Car Group was split from AB Volvo almost 20 years ago and Geely said it was not its current intention to try to reunite the two businesses. "Given our experience with Volvo Car Group, we recognise and value the proud Scandinavian history and culture, leading market positions, breakthrough technologies and environmental capabilities of AB Volvo," Geely ..

How technology is transforming the lives of youngsters in China

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Technology, the Internet and the sharing economy have brought great convenience and user experience to people, especially the tech-savvy youths. Digital marketplaces, mobile games and shared bicycles are just some of the highlights this year. Here's a look at their influences on the young people in China. TAKEOUTS OVER INSTANT NOODLEMost young people choose takeouts during weekends as they prefer staying indoors to going out. Fast and easy food is the most selected on online food delivery platforms, accounting for 73.6 per cent, while western fast food including hamburgers and pizzas rank second, according to a survey of Chinese netizens' online takeout habits in 2017. And a preference for fast and easy food doesn't mean that Chinese youths don't care much about what they eat. On the contrary, users of food delivery platforms are concerned most with food safety, according to the survey. Online buzzwords including "thermos cu..

Watch: This is how India's protest culture culminates in a one-kilometre stretch in New...

" data-embed-type="youtube" data-thumbnail="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ffwYEKx8Y5g/hqdefault.jpg" data-embed-id="ffwYEKx8Y5g" data-embed-loaded="false" data-height="270" data-width="480" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/VideoObject"> In October 2017, the National Green Tribunal asked the Delhi Government to ban all protests at Jantar Mantar. The panel said that residents of the area have the right to live without the constant intrusion of noise and other forms of disturbance. If any of these residents ventured out every time there was a protest in the vicinity, they would have seen a remarkable variety of rallies and demonstrations, ranging from the political to the personal, only a few of which make it to national media and are seen by people around the country. Enter Kahaani Wale, an artists’ collective that documents stories of change across south Asia. In a series of videos titled Hum Le Ke Rahenge, the group has captured a variety of protests through the eyes of individuals. Sa..

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