To celebrate 30 years of ASEAN-India diplomatic relations, New Delhi hosted the second edition of the ASEAN India Music Festival. Organised by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Seher, the festival kick-started on Friday. To promote cultural exchange and understanding between ASEAN and India, the three-day festival took place on 18, 19 and 20th November at the iconic Purana Qila in New Delhi, where bands from 10 ASEAN countries and five bands from India performed.
The ASEAN countries which participated in the event were Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The music festival started with memorable performances by Tri Minh’s Quartet from Vietnam, Instamuzika from Malaysia, RizerXSuffer from Cambodia, Empty Wallet from Brunei Darussalam and Papon from India.
ASEAN India Music Festival 2022 aimed to encourage a deeper understanding and appreciation of the rich musical traditions in ASEAN and India, increase awareness of the ASEAN identity amongst people and offer wider visibility to ASEAN India artists. Such festivals are essential to strengthen the people-to-people bonds and cultural ties by exploring the similarities while celebrating the diversity in musical traditions.
Sanjeev Bhargava, Founder Director of Seher, said, “The second edition of ASEAN-India Music Festival 2022 is the celebration of the 30 years of India-ASEAN relationship, marking 2022 as ASEAN-India Friendship Year. The festival provides a platform for the artists to initiate a deeper understanding of the values and traditions of ASEAN and India, as music transcends boundaries and unites people from diverse regions.”Empty Wallet, the band from Brunei Darussalam, said, “We are grateful for the invitation from Seher to be a part of the ASEAN India Music Festival. It has been a great experience, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our minister of culture. We are very thankful to all of you for joining us today. All of you must know that people in Brunei love Bollywood as well.
We are looking forward to seeing performances from Indian artists.”
Papon, one of the famous Indian artists, said, “Purana Qila is an amazing venue to play at. People had high energy. Moreover, it has always been a pleasure playing for Seher. Delhi is home to me. I am thankful for this opportunity.” The second day had performances from the Lao Traditional Music Troupe of Lao PDR, Makaohang of Thailand, Faridkot and Amar Jalal of India, Linying Band of Singapore and Jonita Gandhi of India. The last day of the festival witnessed Bayang Barrios at Ang Naliyagan from the Philippines, Riau Rhythm from Indonesia, Raghav Meattle from India, MRTV Modern Music band from Myanmar and Sukhbir from India.
The concerts focussed on offering a better understanding of Indian and ASEAN musical traditions. To emphasise more on the ‘Act East Policy, the festival will also take place in Shillong, Meghalaya, which is a gateway to ASEAN. The first edition of the ASEAN India Music Festival was organised in 2017 to commemorate 25 years of ASEAN-India diplomatic relations.