The 8th edition of the splendid Mountain Echoes Literary Festival will run from August 25 to 27 in Thimphu. As always, the fest looks set to be an event to remember with author and television presenter Padma Lakshmi, that mistress of spices, headlining this year. An initiative of the India-Bhutan Foundation with literary consultancy, Siyahi, headed by Mita Kapur, the festival will also be attended by Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief, and writer and performance poet Francesca Beard. The Indian contingent is amply represented by Ashwin Sanghi, Prayaag Akbar,Devdutt Pattanaik, Jerry Pinto, Sharanya Manivannan and Hindi film director Imtiaz Ali.
The themes at this year’s event are wide ranging and include natural history and environment, business and leadership, fashion, magic and mentalism, food, spirituality and Buddhism – all of this promises to generate much conversation!
Established under the patronage of Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, the Royal Queen Mother of Bhutan, the festival is supported by a panel of advisors, which includes the country’s Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communications Dasho Karma W Penjor, authors Kunzang Choden and Malvika Singh, publisher Meru Gokhale, MP Pavan K Varma, and writer Sonam Wangmo Jhalani.
Apart from numerous workshops and panel discussions, the event will also include a performance of the Drametse Ngacham, a sacred dance featuring 16 masked male dancers and 10 musicians performing in honour of Padmasambhava, the 8th-century Buddhist master.
Unusually for a literary festival, this year’s Mountain Echoes is quite fashion forward with celebrated names from Bhutanese and Indian fashion like Chandrika Tamang, Chimmi Choden, Abraham & Thakore and Prasad Bidappa participating.
No edition is complete without great music and, this time, festival goers can look forward to performances at Thimphu’s Clock Tower by excellent local acts like Sangay Lhaden, The Baby Boomers, and the dance troupes Druk Jackson and Waki Nation Crew.
Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon, is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s also one of the happiest places on earth. With so much natural beauty and such a rich cultural life, that isn’t surprising at all.
Source: Hindustan Times