Monday, October 4, 2010

Top Ten Highlights of the Absolutely Spectacular Common Wealth Games 2010 Opening Ceremony Showcasing Indian Culture at the

Source -
Source - View full slide show at The Hindu
Source - Spectacular Picture Slideshow from the Gaurdian, UK

I knew when i started to get text messages and calls from friends in India, that the opening ceremony of the Common Wealth Games had been a mind blowing affair. At about EST i started to hear the excited streams come in. Barely two weeks ago, most people had given up on the event, but from all accounts (friends, family, and the media) the opening ceremony was mind blowing. Here are some accounts
1. India has Arrived - Guardian, UK
2. Commonwealth Games off to colourful start, The Hindu
3. Commonwealth Games 2010: India opens doors to the world at opening ceremony - The Telegraph

And besides the technical effects, the artists and all the glitz, what made the almost 3 billion people who watched it go wow was that warmth and depth of the fabulously rich cultural and intellectual heritage of the country that on in display.

I mean just look at the highlights of the opening ceremony

1. Entire stadium was decked up to glow like a new bride

2. The evening started with the blowing of the conch shells because all auspicious events start that way

3. The crowds were greeted by thousands of children dancing to form a 'Namaste' to the sounds of 'swagatam" (meaning you are welcome)

4. The diversity of the country (its 23 official languages) and dozens of dances and musical forms were brought into a whole with a 7 year child prodigy playing the tabla

5. The show then focused on perhaps India's greatest contribution - Yoga and the tradition of guru-shishya (student teacher) and learning. They even have an illuminated Buddha

6. Then there was depiction of Gandhi to remind the world of India's non violence

7. The love for its neighbor - the Pakistan contingent got the maximum applause after the Indian Contingent

8. Our biggest global brand, AR Rahman got the show to a resounding end with the rendition of the theme song

9. Depiction of India's growing economy and modern technical achievements with $8 million helium balloon that rose into the sky to ecstatic cheers after a countdown beaten out on giant drums.

10. And lastly, dedication to the common man in India with all depicted in the train ride symbolizing India's movement, 'the great indian journey'. A train spilling rickshaws, cattle, fishermen, hawkers, oversized sparkling bags of laundry, leering bureaucrats, weavers and brick kiln labourers across the stadium floor.

And i am so glad there was no bollywood here - this was pure and classical india.

Check out some awesome pictures. As they say - it only happens in India. I mean two weeks ago the event was billed to a be headed to disaster and then to come up with a dazzling ceremony - The gods only know how the stars align to get it all right!