Reunion Island celebrates the Tamil New Year 5119

An exclusive interview with Didier Robert, President of the Reunion Region

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News - India Outbound

May 23, 2018

/ By and / Saint-Denis

Last April, the Reunion Island, a French territory situated near Mauritius, celebrated the Tamil New Year with great pomp.

The festivities were mainly organised by the Tamil associations of the Reunion and officially culminated with a soirée organised by the local government of the Reunion at the Montgaillard Domaine in the capital Saint Denis. The Tamil inhabitants of the Reunion, also called the Malabars, marked the arrival of the year 5019

On this occasion, Didier Robert, the President of the Reunion and Amaury de Saint Quentin, the Prefet of the Reunion said the multicultural society in the island is a symbol of living together in harmony.

The links between India and the Reunion have been rising sharply. The Reunion recently liberalised the visa regime for Indian tourists to the island and for over a year, the local airline, Air Austral, has been operating direct flights to Chennai.

At the closing ceremony, a rich mix of theatre, music and dance was presented to an audience that represented all the religions and ethnicities in the Reunion island. The programmes mainly featured Indian, French, African and Chinese cultures.

Amongst the performers was a troupe of dancers from Kalakshetra, a renowned cultural institution in Chennai, who presented Bharatanatyam, an Indian classic dance form.

170 years after their ancestors had arrived on the island, the Indian-origin inhabitants of the island have managed to preserve their culture and traditions intact. Closer ties between India and the Reunion, hence, are inevitable. The Reunion has all that it takes to become a bridge, economic as well as cultural, between not only India and France, but also India and Africa.

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