Nagaland extends handshake to Indonesia through music


The troupe from Nagaland with Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt after the concert in Indonesia

The Handshake concert of Nagaland, which has toured major cities of the country and Thailand, has truly gone international. After visiting Bangkok last year, the Rattle and Hum Music Society extended a hand of friendship to Indonesia. The Handshake concert was held in Indonesia on June 19 last as part of the Jakarta Festival.

The Jakarta Festival, which commemorated the anniversary of Indonesia’s capital city, witnessed Naga artists act as cultural ambassadors for the state. The Handshake Concert, organized by the Rattle and Hum society music society in collaboration with Gedung Kesenian Jakarta provided the key highlight of the day’s festivities on June 19. The festival also saw representation from Nagaland led by Advisor to the Music Task Force and MLA, Khriehu Leizietsu, who was the Honored Guest.

Grammy Award Winner and Global Ambassador of the Rattle and Hum Music Society, Pandit Viswa Mohan Bhatt, who enthralled the audience with his performance, said that he was in love with Nagaland, its people and the beautiful land. Artists from Nagaland were Zowe Madrigal, the Nagaland Chamber Choir, Alobo Naga & the Band, Cultural Vibrants and Naro Peinyii. one of the special highlight of the event was a performance by Naga Idol Renbeni Odyuo with well- known Indonesian guitarist  Mr. jubing Kristianto.

Abu Metha, Advisor to Chief Minister of Nagaland addressed the festival during the Handshake Concert. He projected Nagaland as a state with pristine natural beauty, rich bio-diversity, unique culture and heritage. Speaking about the youth in Nagaland, Metha said that the Naga youths have a special vibrancy that “has to be seen to be believed.”


Speaking on the relationship between India and Indonesia, Metha said the two countries have shared a special bond that goes back hundreds of years, adding that the handshake concert aims to promote international peace and understanding through the medium of art, culture and music.

The Handshake concert is a non-profit concert aimed towards promoting music, culture and goodwill among the people of the country through “a handshake at a time”. With the first edition of the Handshake concert being organized in Guwahati in 2008, the event has till now travelled to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Bangkok and Jakarta.


In previous editions of the festival, many Naga artistes have visited other parts of the country and the world and got the exposure. Till now, the list of artists who participated in the festival include Tetseo Sisters, OFF Band, Zowe Madrigal, Kenei Chale, Zeliang Dance Troupe, Avancer, Alobo Naga, Lama Tashi, and many others.

Talking about the handshake concert, Theja said, “Since our first show in Guwahati, musicians of our State have not only been representing the Naga culture but also going out as ambassadors of the Nagas. Through music, they have managed to portray a lot of positive aspects in the wake of so much strife and violence in the State. The Government of Nagaland and other non-governmental organizations have together provided an environment where musicians can come and strive to attain excellence,” he said, adding that the Handshake concert has started taking the initiatives of the Nagaland government at the international level.

Theja informed that the Handshake concert has helped expose local talents of Nagaland to the rest of the country and therefore open a window to the remote Northeastern State. “This platform has helped Naga musicians discover their counterparts in other States and we were honoured when, after our 2009 concert in Mumbai, some of our folk artistes were invited to sing and act in a film called The Hunt which had Naseeruddin Shah as the lead actor and was directed by Anup Kurian.”


About Aiyushman Dutta

Who am I? Yet to find the answer. For the time being, u can call me a writer, maybe a journalist and a music entrepreneur or an errand boy! Whatever suits your fancy!

Posted on July 12, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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