Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on the eve of Makar Sankranti urged the youth to understand the rich and diverse traditions of Indian festivals and called for protecting, promoting and enriching "our exceptional" culture and folk art forms.
Speaking after inaugurating the fourth International Kite Festival and second International Sweet Festival at Parade Ground in Secunderabad Sunday, Naidu said festivals are occasions for social bonding and inculcate a spirit of communal harmony and national integrity.
"They symbolise renewal, rejuvenation, and revival of our traditions and heritage and bring in a sense of togetherness, unity, love, and brotherhood in today's fast-paced world," Naidu was quoted as saying in an official release.
"We witness the coming together of families and communities during such festivals. They are also occasions for social bonding," he said.
The vice president also tried his hand at kite-flying and said it was a tremendous experience which transcends age, class, and community.
Observing that kite-making was an art form, the vice president said it required skill, precision, devotion, and inventiveness.
As many as 42 professional kite fliers from abroad and 60 from India are participating in the Kite Festival.
Stating that India's tremendous diversity and plurality made it home to several colourful festivals, he stressed the need to understand meaning and values associated with them, adding that they also had deep ties to nature.
Referring to the display of 1,200 sweets from different countries at the Sweet Festival, he said they symbolise the sweet happenings in life and hold a place of great prominence in the Indian culinary tradition.
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