Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Words hold centrestage

Bhutan's first ever literary festival Mountain Echoes was eloquent testimony to literature's ability to cross borders.

For three days, the hills of Bhutan — or more precisely the town of Thimphu — quiet, beautiful and green, came alive not with the sound of music but the sound of literature and reading, with the conversation of authors and readers.

There was music too, just as there was archery (a national sport), food and drink (with the national dish, cheese and chillies, having pride of place) and animated discussions on the nature of Gross National Happiness, Bhutan's signature ‘export' that has had much of the world talking about exactly what it is.

Mountain Echoes, the appropriately named literary festival at which these discussions took place, was the first ever literary celebration in a country just beginning to come to an awareness of its literary potential and just taking the first hesitant steps into transforming from an oral culture to one that also values print.

Full report here Hindu

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