India to Unveil Vibrant History

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Mulvey of AAP

BOLLYWOOD is expected to be put aside in favour of heritage and history as India finally gets a chance to put a positive face on the Commonwealth Games in tonight's opening ceremony.

After months of embarrassment and shame over the organisation of the Games, the three-hour ceremony will showcase the country's eight thousand year history and the vibrant cultural diversity of its 1.2 billion people.

According to the Times of India which has seen a sneak preview, the show is divided into seven segments, opening with a 10 minute welcoming song from thousands of school children entitled Swagatam.

Drummers, dancers and puppeteers will then take the 60,000 spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on a journey through India's history and culture in Rhythm of India, Great Indian Journey, Celebration, Yoga, Rajasthan Puppets and The Knowledge Tree.

For the first time in a Commonwealth Games, the 7000 athletes from 71 countries will march before the show and then be able to sit in the stands to experience the spectacular, along with Prince Charles, who will open the Games, and Indian President Patibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Nearly 1000 drummers on their traditional drums from the regions of Ladakh, Punjab, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Amdhra Pradesh and Karnataka will beat out the rhythms of India. …