New Delhi: As India and Russia celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov during the Russian Culture festival inauguration here in New Delhi said that tonight he is resuming a tradition of reciprocal cultural festivals between the two countries after years of offline cultural exchange due to COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that the festival will be the most colourful manifestation of the 75th anniversary of Russia and India's diplomatic relationship.

Highlighting a popular saying in Hindi the envoy added that there is nothing more important than friendship and the mission of the festival is to increase people-to-people ties.

"Tonight we are resuming the wonderful tradition of reciprocal cultural festivals of Russia and India and India and Russia. This year we have brought to India three very prominent, famous groups and dance and song groups and this particular year's festival will become a very colourful culmination of the 75th anniversary Russia-India diplomatic relations. It would be a very vivid illustration of the rich and diverse cultural bonds between our nations, the historic friendship, mutual interest and understanding and trust" said the Russian Ambassador.

Notably, the cultural exchange between the two nations was affected due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"After years of living during the pandemic, we resume this wonderful tradition which is always been very popular in both our friendly countries. Over a week's time, our Indian friends will enjoy a number of brilliant performances spread across the metropolitan cities of New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata as a tribute to one of the most ancient civilizations on Earth. The festival will be the most colourful manifestation of the 75th anniversary of Russia and India of diplomatic relationship which we celebrate this year. There is a popular saying in India, 'Dosti se zyada kuch bhi nahi hota' (there is nothing more important than friendship). A very precise characteristic of the trusted and friendly character of Russia and India's strategic partnership. This mission of the festival is to increase our humanitarian ties through cultural events ", he added.

During the inauguration, the Russian envoy also hoped that the Indian public will be impressed by the flavour and culture of Russia.

"After Delhi, the festival will move to Kolkata and then to Mumbai and will be back to Delhi on the 29th of this month. I am absolutely sure that the Indian public will be impressed and enjoy the performance, flavour, and culture of Russia in days to come, " he added.

The Russian Culture Festival commenced today in New Delhi. The festival will roll over New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai up to 29th November 2022. The festival in India began with the performance of the Ensemble Lezginka which demonstrated the unique folk art of Russia.

The State Academic Honoured Dance Ensemble of Dagestan "Lezginka" was founded on September 6, 1958. During its existence, the ensemble has toured 75 countries around the world and has been the winner of 52 world-renowned Festivals of Folklore dancing competitions specifically catering for professional companies.

In 2014 "Lezginka" was invited to present special concerts for the guests of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. In August 2012, Lezginka presented a program dedicated to the North Caucasian region of Russia to the guests and participants of the XXX Olympic Summer Games in London. The ensemble staged over 100 dances of the peoples of Dagestan, the Caucasus and Russia.

The festival is brought by the federal state budgetary institution of culture ROSCONCERT, with the support of the Russian Ministry of culture and the India Council for Cultural relations under the Ministry of External Affairs of India.