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Rajasthani dance troupe performs in Ghana

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photo credit: www.rajasthanroutestrails.com

Accra (Ghana): An Indian cultural troupe from Rajasthan performed Kalbelia, one of the most sensuous dance forms of the state, here this past week.

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Kalbelia dance, performed by a tribe of the same name, has been part of the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2010.

Sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the event was organised by the Indian high commission in Ghana’s capital city of Accra. The group comprised four male singers and four female dancers.

On the occasion, Indian High Commissioner Jeeva Sagar said art and culture transcend national and international boundaries. The visit of this renowned cultural group from India was an effort to deepen the cultural affinities between India and Ghana.

Four Indian-owned companies operating in Ghana — Mohinani Group; Tata Holdings Africa; IPMC; and M.G Pharmaceuticals — co-sponsored the eight-member cultural troupe ‘Sapera’ (Kalbelia) from Rajasthan for two performances in the country, as part of efforts to deepen the cultural relationship between India and Ghana, he added.

Commending the companies that co-sponsored the visit of the troupe, the Indian high commissioner said their effort was in line with the Indian government’s vision and commitment to expand the people-to-people linkages between the two countries.

The troupe’s performance in Accra was attended by local Ghanaian dignitaries, including Ghana’s Education Minister Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, diplomats, eminent personalities from all walks of life, and members of the Indian community.

From Ghana, the group is scheduled to travel to neighbouring west African country Burkina Faso where it will perform on September 13 and 14.

In 2012, a dance troupe ‘NTENTAN’ from Ghana had participated in the Africa Festival organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in New Delhi and Ahmedabad from June 14-22.

(IANS)

Next Story

Uncontrolled Illegal Activities Threaten Ghana’s Fishing Sector

In Ghana, about 2 million people rely on these fish for their food and income

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Fishermen in the Nungua area of Accra wait for canoes to come in with their catches. (S. Knott for VOA) .VOA

On a beach in Ghana’s capital, Accra, fishermen from the Nungua community are waiting for the vibrantly painted canoes to return from sea with their catch of small fish to be sold at the local market.

In Ghana, about 2 million people rely on these fish for their food and income.  But trawlers, run almost exclusively by Chinese operators using Ghanaian front companies, are illegally targeting this staple catch and selling it back to local communities at a profit in a practice called saiko, according to a report from local NGO Hen Mpoano and the Environmental Justice Foundation.

Kofi Agbogah, director of the NGO, says saiko used to just be a regular practice where fishermen would meet trawlers at sea and exchange the trawler’s catch for goods they were carrying.

“Today it has become a multimillion-dollar business where trawlers are harvesting fish that they are not licensed to harvest and sell it back to some canoes — I will call those canoe business people,” he said. “They are not traditional fishers. They just go out there without nets, they buy the fish from the trawlers, and come and sell it in some designated ports.”

Illegal, Ghana, Fishing
On a beach in Ghana’s capital, Accra, fishermen from the Nungua community are waiting. Pixabay

Destroying livelihoods

The report found that in 2017, industrial trawlers caught almost the same amount of fish as the local fishing sector when illegal and unreported catches were taken into account. It also found the practice of saiko also destroyed the livelihoods of local fishermen.

Fisherman Frederick Bortey wants the government to banish those behind illegal fishing.

“My children are not getting money to go to school,” he lamented. “So it is very painful that we are talking about it. They can try and sack those people for us. We would like that, so we can fish, too, in our own country.”

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Bortey and his colleagues say they also face fellow fishermen undertaking illegal practices using fishing lights, where a light is beamed into the water to attract fish.

Ghana’s government says it is focused on tackling such issues. But if nothing happens soon, Agbogah warns that ordinary people will suffer.

“What happens if the fishermen don’t fish anymore?” He said their homes will become “coastal ghost towns” as young people “begin to move across the desert in an attempt to go to Europe.” (VOA)