With a focus on natural history, environment and spirituality, the eighth edition of Mountain Echoes Literary Festival is to be held in August this year in Thimphu, Bhutan. An initiative of India-Bhutan Foundation along with literary consultancy Siyahi, the three-day festival will begin from August 25. A celebration of literature, art and music, the festival will host guests like Australian author Markus Zusak, American television host and author Padma Lakshmi and fiction-thriller writer Ashwin Sanghi. "Over the last eight years, Mountain Echoes has established itself as one of the most thoughtful, moving and evocative celebrations of literature anywhere on our planet. "The shared narratives of Bhutan and India, and of mountain regions everywhere, expand the space for insights across cultures and geographies," Namita Gokhale, co-director of the festival, said. The event will also explore globally-relevant issues such as conservation, spirituality and evolution of textiles and design traditions. Presenting a view on this year's theme, founder of Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy, Siok Sian Dorji said, "The vision of the festival is to present a confluence of literature, art and music from both India and Bhutan. "This year is a specially-designed programme that will enable the audiences to engage in the form of storytelling that inspires them. Masterpieces on canvas, through music and performances, or literature.
There's something for everyone. The festival as always is free for everyone to attend." The festival will set a pace for discussions on ancient cultures while presenting an insight into philosophy of both the nations. Mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik will share the stage along with author Jerry Pinto and Sharanya Manivannan, author of the book 'The High Priestess Never Marries: Stories of Love and Consequence', among others. Presented by Jaypee Group, the festival will also hold discussions on Bhutanese arts and fashion with photographer- filmmaker Pawo Choyning Dorji and designers Chimmi Choden and Chandrika Tamang at the event.
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