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Mountain Echoes literature festival to celebrate 'many lives and the many stories they hold'

The 10th edition of Mountain Echoes, the Bhutan festival of art, culture, and literature, will explore and celebrate elements of personal, professional, mental and spiritual success as part of this year's theme - "Many lives and the many stories they hold".

Beginning from August 23 in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, the festival will showcase a wide range of artistic media like literature, visual arts, photography, theatre, film, music, and dance.

Speaking about this year's theme, actor-artist and festival co-director Kelly Dorji said that this edition will "extend to more mediums and cultural activities".

"As Mountain Echoes turns 10, this year's edition is very special as our theme encompasses 'many lives'. I am especially excited to see so many Bhutanese contribute their talents to the festival.

"Her Majesty Gyalyum Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck has steered this wonderful concept to reach farther and farther into mystical Bhutan and this year I especially look forward to filmmaking and theatre getting more recognition and gaining momentum amongst the people here," he added.

The festival, an initiative of the India-Bhutan Foundation and produced by Jaipur-based literary agency Siyahi, will welcome about 100 writers, thinkers, politicians, and cultural icons from different nationalities.

The three-day cultural gala will witness former director of the London National Gallery and British Museum Neil MacGregor, documentary photographer Xyza Bacani, and professor of Artificial Intelligence Toby Walsh among others.

Actress Bhumi Pednekar, principal economic advisor to the Government of India Sanjeev Sanyal, and Shivya Nath, author of the bestselling travel memoir "The Shooting Star" will be among other prominent names from India.

"Mountain Echoes is a wonderful brand that we can collectively be proud of, and for which I congratulateSiyahi. On its 10th anniversary it returns to Bhutan bigger and better, as we celebrate this remarkable friendship as two countries," Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador of India to Bhutan, said.

Eminent Bhutanese personalities from different spheres such as Khenpo Karchung, a monk and a Sanskrit teacher at Tago Dorden Tashithang Buddhist University; author Chador Wangmo, and technology entrepreneur, Forbes 30 under 30 Sonam Pelden along with other renowned names will be holding sessions on various subjects.