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Oct 08

14
A kaleidoscopic view of the best in art and cultural events at CYG Pune 2008
It isn't just about sports at the Commonwealth Youth Games Pune 2008 as the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports City celebrated arts and culture alongside the sports competitions. It encompassed a kaleidoscopic view of the best in art and cultural events drawn not only from Pune but also from many parts of India.

Day three of the III Commonwealth Youth Games has been a successful day of play within the athletes stadium. Gripping semi finals and nail biting finals for both male and female track and field participants heightened the already electric atmosphere in and around the Balewadi Sports City.

Other disciplines that have been equally anticipated kicked off today including wrestling and ladies badminton doubles. Ben Smith, an English wrestling spectator commented, “a good crowd made for a good match!” He will be returning for tomorrow’s matches as well.

“Bond Forever”, the exciting interactive Pune schools initiative programme continued to draw the spectators in today to learn about the participating countries in more detail. Examples of this work include informative facts and figures on each country’s geographical, historical and demographic background. This is expressed through colourful pictures and typical cultural displays.

Whilst the spectators moved from venue to venue it was clear to see that both their attention and eyes were captivated by the sounds and costumes that the cultural stage had to offer. Amongst many of the dances that were put on throughout the day, crowd pleasers included the warrior themed battle dance called the Maniyara from Gujarat and the internationally renowned Punjabi dance ‘Bhangra’ which is a harvest celebration.

Amit Dhokoriya, a volunteer at the cultural centre said, “To have such an experience at an international event in my own country makes me feel very proud”.

As the day’s medal winners were paraded into the open air theatre, the Manipur dancers donned the stage in their beautiful doll like dress, the Poloi. There they continued to wow the crowd unfolding the story of creation. The Lai Harouba, or the ‘Frolic of the Gods’ is performed by specially selected men and women chosen by the Gods to honour them. Using solely hand gestures and body movements to express themselves the face remains blank adding to the intensity of the performance.

Today’s ‘Gift of the day’ for the athletes was a bamboo, a prop which the artists used within the dance from Mizoram. They are lined up horizontally and cross ways allowing the dancers to weave in and out between the beats of the bamboo.

Outside the venue, whilst the spectators revelled in the offerings of the day, Pune was invited to enjoy a walking plaza which started at M.G. Road at 4pm and will continue on until 11pm arriving at its final destination, Aurora Towers. In this lavish event onlookers were encouraged to join in with the carnival atmosphere, dancing the night away whilst learning a new skill at any one of the numerous stalls. Commenting on the festival, Purnima Pendse, Director of Culture and Ceremonies at CYG Pune 2008, said, “Walking plaza will give Puneites an opportunity to share the atmosphere of the festivities inside the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports City, Balewadi.”

As the sun came down on the third day of the Youth Games, all involved were in high spirits signifying another successful day and continuing to set the bench mark of things to come.
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The Games are now over.
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