4th G20 Culture Working Group concludes in Varanasi

Aug 26: The discussions on the Draft declaration at the fourth G20 Culture Working Group (CWG) Meeting, under India’s Presidency, with the delegates from the G20 members, and international organisations participating concluded in Varanasi.

The CWG under India’s G20 Presidency, through its Outcome Document and Chair’s summary, emphasized positioning culture at the heart of global policymaking.

The  Culture Ministers’ Meeting will be held tomorrow 2023 in Varanasi.

Earlier in the day, speaking to the media, Shri G. K Reddy said that the Varanasi Culture meetings have created an opportunity to discuss multi-dimensional global relations related to the cultural sector.

Giving a brief about the  Culture Working Group meetings held under G20, he said the first Cultural group meeting was held in Khajuraho, the second in Bhubaneswar, the third in Hampi, Karnataka and the fourth now in Varanasi.  He also added that the Varanasi Cultural Ministerial declaration will be made tomorrow at the end of the  Ministerial meeting.

Sh G. Kishan Reddy also said that this year in this Cultural working group, various programs and webinars were organised. In these webinars and programmes,  a record 159 experts from different G20 countries and invitee countries as well as other stakeholders participated.

He also said that the declaration would be made on the basis of everyone’s input. It was a memorable moment for us to witness the Cultural Group Meeting and declaration to be made from  Varanasi- the Cultural capital of India.

He informed that more than 400 antiquities have been retrieved and brought back to India since 2014.

Speaking on the occasion MoS, Culture, Ms Meenakashi Lekhi that  India’s presidency brings out the beautiful tapestry of the cultural milieu of the country and Varanasi specifically, which has been chosen as a UNESCO city of heritage for music.

She added that all the Gharanas and all the artists who live here, who have been playing Indian traditional music for centuries and the museums, the city houses, the temple, and the traditions, are the reason why we have all collected in Varanasi. 

She said that culture-working group meetings have paved the way for enhanced cultural diplomacy by bringing the people of various countries closer.

She also informed me that a  postal stamp,  on the theme of Cultural unity, would be issued to mark the occasion.

Secretary Culture,  Shri Govind Mohan said that a grand cultural musical concert Sur Vasudha will be organised tomorrow at the Trade Facilitation Centre, bringing together musicians from 29 countries on the theme of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. 

After the working sessions concluded, the delegates visited the Sant Ravidas Ghat for a cruise on the River Ganga followed by the grand Ganga Aarti. Ganga Aarti is a beautiful ritual that happens every morning and evening in Varanasi, to pay homage to the holy River Ganga.

Thereafter, the delegates witnessed a mesmerizing cultural performance organised by renowned dancer and choreographer, Rani Khanam. The Kathak dance presentation aimed to capture the essence of India’s spiritual and cultural expressions. It reflected both the festive and celebratory aspects of Indian traditions, as well as the profound spiritual thoughts found in temples and Sufi mysticism.

The Culture Ministers’ Meeting will take place tomorrow, which will be a culmination of all the previous meetings and discussions of India’s G20 CWG. A detailed report on the insights and recommendations from the expert-driven Global Thematic Webinars titled ‘G20 Culture: Shaping the Global Narrative for Inclusive Growth’ will be launched in the CMM. A special postage stamp will also be released, marking the journey of the hallmark campaign of ‘Culture Unites All’ under the CWG of India’s G20 Presidency. ‘Sur Vasudha’ – the G20 Orchestra will bring together a group of internationally acclaimed artists who will perform tomorrow the 26th of August 2023 as a part of the G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting.

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