Two literary festivals: Galle and Jaipur

Here is an account of the Jaipur Literary Festival that was held about the same time as the Galle Literary festival.

‘The four-year-old Jaipur festival, which has become India’s most successful literary event, is free and open to anyone. It mixes foreign and local participation in the state rooms and grounds of Diggi Palace, a faded rumbling pile built in the 1860s as a grand townhouse for a rural Rajasthan ruler. More than 60 writers gathered there, including many foreign visitors, among them Simon Schama, Pico Iyer, Colin Thubron and Tina Brown. The audience of several thousands- the organisers lost count at 7,000 in the middle of the five days- was mostly local. Three sessions ran continuously and concurrently, with poetry reading and concerts of sacred Muslim, Hindu and fusion music in the evenings lasting till past midnight.’ (January 31, 2009).

The Galle festival is too expensive for us locals except the most well heeled and of course since it has been described locally in only superlative terms, I wonder how it compared with this plebeian event in Jaipur.

Il professori

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