India is home to 4,349 miles of coastline, most of which is still left unexplored. Surfing as a sporting activity has not gained much popularity in India; the India Surf Festival aims to introduce the activity as well as the international surfing community to the Indian youth. This festival hosted its first edition in the month of February this year in Orissa. The government of Orissa had promoted the event as not only a surfer’s delight but also a travel and photography enthusiast’s unique experience on the pristine beaches of the Indian state.
All about the India Surf Festival 2012
The first and only edition of the India Surf Festival tasted success in Orissa. Tourists, from India and abroad, had come to the beaches of Orissa to have a first time experience of this festival. The festival not only comprised activities in water, but also cultural performances by local artists in dance and music. However, the chief objective of the festival authoritieswas to let a surfer enjoy the waters.
Not only the experienced, but also the amateurs were invited to participate in the India Surf Festival 2012. There were trainers who took lessons at fixed hours during the day to teach the basics of paddling and surfing in the waters of the seas to the young and the old. The trainers comprised expert surfers from different parts of the world. To keep all types of visitors entertained, the government of Orissa kept open options for sun bathing, solar clay therapy, film festival, live performances in music, painting exhibition and organic food displays. According to the organizers, these activities not only helped tourists to connect with mother nature, but also get a taste of the local culture and traditions. While the films and music performances depicted the local talent, the paintings brought out the history of this state. The local organic delicacies on the other hand were cooked and sold in stalls arranged on the Orissa beaches.
Celebrations on the Beach
Among the most notable festivities on the Orissa beaches during the India Surf Festival 2012 were:
- Music extravaganza by artists from Bhubaneshwar, Mumbai and Argentina
- Performance by Tribal Flora – This is a music band which specializes in playing of earthy instruments like Jew’s harp, djembes, indigenous drums and didgeridoos. The music played by Tribal Flora at the festival included tribal, folk, Indian classical, electronic, psychedelic and DnB.
- Folk Dance – The local villagers matched steps to Naga, Tiger and Horse dances, which are little known to the outside world.
- Sand Art – No Orissa beach celebration is complete without sand art creations. The India Surf Festival saw sand carvings depicting stories of surfing and the ocean by six local artists who are members of the Puri Sand Art Institute.
The government of Orissa also made arrangements for visitors to spend the night on the beaches of the state through the provision of camping tents. However, only 50 tents were available for rent during the first edition of the fest; the remaining tourists had to get accommodation in neighboring resorts and hotels.
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