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Bharatanatyam, dandia welcome athletes at the Village

Bharatanatyam to garba and dandia to bhangra -- dance and music representing India's diversity welcome the athletes and officials at the sprawling Commonwealth Games Village here.

New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) Bharatanatyam to garba and dandia to bhangra -- dance and music representing India's diversity welcome the athletes and officials at the sprawling Commonwealth Games Village here.

'There is an individual felicitation programme called Team Welcome Ceremony (TWC) for each team in the Games Village which is combined with a 45-minute cultural programme,' says Dalbir Singh, Mayor of the Village.

 

'There are 71 teams so there will be 71 TWCs. We have to finish all the TWCs by Oct 2. We have no choice. We will complete them anyhow by Oct 2 even if that means organising five or 10 ceremonies in a day,' he told IANS.

 

The TWCs started Monday with felicitations for Norfolk Island and Scotland at the Village, where around 7,000 athletes and officials will be staying till the Games conclude Oct 14.

 

On Tuesday, the TWC was for contingents from Tanzania, Bahamas, Cook Islands and Brunei-Darussalam.

 

'In these programmes, we try to project the ethnic diversity of India to the visitors both in dance and music form. From bharatanatyam to garba and dandia to bhangra -- dances are being presented as well as improvised presentation of music -- all done by school children,' Singh said.

 

Apart from TWCs, the athletes and officials are also trated to a one-and-a-half-hour cultural programme every evening. This is organised by the Delhi government. The cultural show will be on till Oct 13, except on Oct 11 when the programme has been arranged by the Games organising committee.

 

The Delhi government's show will have performances by Hariharan-Sivamani-Louis Banks, Mohit Chauhan, Daler Mehndi and bands like Parikrama, Indian Ocean, Euphoria, Themclones and Half Step Down.

 

All ceremonies will take place in an open air ceremonial plaza-cum-amphitheatre. 'It is beautifully lit in the night and we also have provision for the programmes to take place indoors if it rains.'

 

There are other means of entertainment too for the athletes and officials at the Village.

 

'There is a leisure pool where people can sit and enjoy, a lush green park if people want to go for a walk,' said Singh.

 

'In the international zone, we have a games room where we have snooker and billiard tables and also a lounge. There is a restaurant and a bar open till 11 p.m.' he added.

 

A one-day visit to the Taj Mahal for those who want to see the monument to love is also planned for athletes and officials.

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