In celebration of the “spirit of commonality” and exploring the creative use of riverine between Northeast India and its eastern neighbours, the Asian Confluence River Festival—NADI2016 will be held in Shillong on July 15-16.

The two-day festival, which will begin at 10 am, “celebrates the spirit of commonality between the Indian Northeastern states and her Eastern neighbours through the rivers of the region, which had for long been the treasured highways of culture and unison among the people and the fragile ecology they sustain”.

The festival aims to “explore the possibilities of enhancing cultural conviviality and amplifying the creative use of riverine connectivity by catalyzing environment friendly trade and tourism between the Northeastern region and her immediate neighbors," according to a statement by the Asian Confluence.

NADI 2016 aims to “offer participants a great networking platform with access to both intellectual as well as entertainment events. Being a first of its kind, special focus would be on the shared borders with immediate neighbor, Bangladesh," it stated.

The festival NADI 2016, organised by the Asian Confluence, India, East Asia Center, Shillong, in collaboration with the Meghalaya government and the Maulana Abul Kamal Azad Institute of Asian Studies, is a “bottom up effort that harmonizes with the Third Space Initiative of the Asian Confluence (the first being government and the second being driven by business) mandate, where the spirit of caring and enterprise among diverse people of this region is a crucial bond that preserves, protects, and propagates the wellbeing of our environment and societies,” the Asian Confluence director said.

High-Level observers from Bhutan, Nepal and Myanmar will be attending the festival which will be held at the State Convention Centre and Aurobindo Institute Grounds, Bivar Road.

“We are happy to partner with this unique “Third Space” initiative as it supplements strategic governmental initiatives held earlier such as the recently concluded UNESCAP meet in Shillong on Sub-regional Economic cooperation,” said the principal secretary, Commerce and Industries Department, Meghalaya.

The festival highlights include a policy dialogue and stakeholder meetings. Noted speakers include Union Cabinet Minister Suresh Prabhu, Bangladesh Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Rashed Khan Menon, Bangladesh Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, former water resources minister from Nepal and former Ambassador of Bhutan, observers from Myanmar, top experts on rivers and rural development, MPs from across the NER region.

The festival features curated exhibitions, cultural programs, crafts bazaar, performing arts of the border areas,special evening performances by top dance, music and theatre troupes of Bangladesh and NE region. The valedictory program is to be graced by the state Governor V Shanmuganathan, where the declaration of the dialogues will be presented. The session is open to the public at the Aurobindo Institute Auditorium.