NRI Roundup: First Asian festival in Bulgaria, London’s Horniman Museum, Indians and Israelis to get closer, 15-year-old girl dies on Saudi beach

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Soumik Datta (Photo: Rehmat Rayat)

Indian girl dies of heart attack on Saudi beach

Jeddah–A 15-year-old Indian girl has died of a heart attack while playing at the popular Half Moon beach in Al-Khobar city of Saudi Arabia.

Saher Parvez was a 10th grade student at International Indian School in Dammam city (IISD) and the tragic incident happened on Friday morning, the Saudi Gazette reported on Sunday.

“It was a pleasure trip. We gathered at the beach and my daughter was enjoying the seawaters. After some time she came out from the waters and called my wife,” the girl’s father Parvez Ali Khan told the daily.

“Seeing the sudden worsening of her condition, my wife who was near panic called for help. The rescue teams from the Coast Guard rushed to the spot and shifted her to King Fahd Medical City, where Saher was pronounced dead on arrival,” Khan said.

The faimly hails from Rampur in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and has been living in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province for the past 20 years.

Social media was abuzz with news that Saher died of a snakebite while she was playing in the water. However, her father said they were informed by doctors that the girl died of a massive heart attack.

The family is waiting to complete the legal procedures for burial.

First Asian festival held in Bulgaria

Sofia– With the aim of showing culture and history unknown to many Bulgarian citizens, the first Asian festival was organised here on Sunday.

The festival was organised jointly by the embassies of China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Thailand, the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam and Japan with the support of Bulgarian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Tourism and Sofia Municipality, Xinhua reported.

During the 10-hour event, held under the slogan “Asia Close-up,” the audience enjoyed culinary, as well as musical and dance performances. The host embassies provided calligraphy and arts workshops as well as children’s games.

Calling it a great feast that shows the magic of Asia, Bulgaria’s Vice President Iliyana Yotova opened the event.

She said the festival demonstrated the diversity and uniqueness of each of the 12 countries and regions and also the spirit of each of them.

On behalf of the participating countries and regions, Sri Astari Rasjid, the Indonesian Ambassador to Bulgaria, said the Asian festival was to introduce the rich Asian culture to Bulgaria, and hopefully open new trade opportunities.

Soumik Datta to curate festival at London’s Horniman Museum

London–British Indian sarod maestro Soumik Datta will curate a day-long festival, Indian Summer Baaja, as part of the Horniman Museum and Gardens’ Indian Summer season, on July 23.

The event will feature music, stories and dance from across South Asia as curator Soumik brings together an array of Britain-based musicians, storytellers and dancers whose contemporary practice is deep-rooted in the musical traditions of South Asia.

Soumik Datta (Photo: Rehmat Rayat)

Horniman Museum and Garden’s Indian Summer will be a series of events and exhibitions from July 9 to September 3, and celebrate 70 years of India’s and Britain’s cultural ties.

Indian Summer Baaja will feature world music artiste Shammi Pithia, percussionist Bernhard Schimpelsberger, tabla player Gurdain Singh Rayatt, violinist Preetha Narayanan and progressive six piece British-Bengali band Khiyo, among others.

The day will close with a two-hour gala of voices, drummers and strings led by Soumik, who has worked on collaborative projects with the likes of Beyonce Knowles, Anoushka Shankar, Joss Stone and Shankar Mahadevan, on the sarod.

Israel visit will bring Indians, Israelis closer: Modi

New Delhi– Ahead of his visit to Israel starting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said his trip will bring the people of the two countries closer.

“I will be visiting Israel on July 4-6 on the invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Modi said in a pre-departure statement posted on his Facebook page.

“As the first Indian Prime Minister to do so, I am greatly looking forward to this unprecedented visit that will bring our two countries and people closer,” he said, adding that this year both countries were marking 25 years of diplomatic relations.

He said he would have in-depth talks with Netanyahu “on the full spectrum of our partnership and strengthening it in diverse fields for mutual benefit”.

“We will also have the chance to discuss major common challenges like terrorism,” Modi said.

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