Mumbai airport hosts carnival celebrating Maharashtra’s art, culture and cuisine

The carnival, known as ‘Paaoolkhuna — Imprints of Maharashtra’, has been curated by members of the Jaya He Museum, providing a platform to artists, students and storytellers from across the state to showcase their talents.

A contemporary carnival about Maharashtra’s art and culture is being held at Terminal 2 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport until the end of July. The carnival, known as ‘Paaoolkhuna — Imprints of Maharashtra’, has been curated by members of the Jaya He Museum, providing a platform to artists, students and storytellers from across the state to showcase their talents.

Activities include a human library, sampling of traditional Maharashtrian cuisine, folk dance and music performances, story telling sessions, selfie points at various locations with different art pieces and sculptures besides other art and craft activities, exhibition panels and art installations. The human library, a concept that started in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2000, will be a platform for individuals from various walks of life to interact with travellers about their travel and life experiences.

Rekha Nair, airport services and museum director, GVK MIAL, said, “The carnival is curated to bring to life the rich, indigenous heritage and art from Maharashtra. We have done similar activities on a smaller scale — for a day in 2017 and a week in 2018. This year, we have it for 80 days and feel it is a great platform for artists, artisans, students, and storytellers to engage and exchange thoughts and ideas, besides showcasing their work to passengers. The airport sees travellers from all around the world and this carnival is a great way to bring world attention to the the state’s art and culture.”

Maharashtra is divided into five parts — Konkan (the coastal belt), Khandesh, Desh, Vidarbha and Marathwada — each with its own distinct culture, traditions, cuisine, art and craft, architecture and textiles. But the districts have in common languages, natural resources, which include the long clear stretches of the Konkan beaches, flora such as the UNESCO Kaas Valley of Flowers (Satara), fauna (myriad wildlife sanctuaries), rivers, the millennia-old Sahyadri mountain range, Mughal and Maratha forts, Hindu, Buddhist and Jain caves, lakes, including the prehistoric Lonar Crater, history, literature, dance and age-old folk practices.

The artwork includes India’s tallest 3D printed installation shaped like a Banyan Tree called “Jhada” and a one-piece rock-cut monastery temple inspired by the Ajanta caves, made from corrugated sheets inside the terminal. Mumbai has the second busiest airport in India after New Delhi, seeing 48 million passengers annually

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