Cherry blossoms fest begins in Meghalaya

SHILLONG:

The celebration of the unique autumn flowering of Himalayan cherry blossoms began in Meghalaya on Wednesday.

For the first time India and South Korea are partnering to celebrate the four-day 4th International Cherry Blossom Festival from November 13 to 16 at the Polo Grounds here.

Japan had partnered India in the third edition of the festival last November.

South Korea Ambassador to India Shin Bong-kil will join the celebration on November 15.

Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, who inaugurated the International Cherry Blossom Festival 2019, said the state has always been a popular destination of tourists.

"Today, the Cherry Blossoms Festival is one of the measures to give a different feel and experience to tourists. This is a great example of how natural resources and sustainable tourism can be utilised in an effective manner and create value in something that already exists," he said.

There will be several Korean events organised in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Centre India, including a K-Pop concert, Korean Taekwondo demonstration, as well as Korean cuisine and arts stalls exhibiting opportunities in education in South Korea.

A key event of the festival will be the summit between the Republic of Korea and the Meghalaya government on issues of environmental reclamation with several MoUs expected to be inked during the summit.

South Korea-headquartered multinational LG Electronics has also stepped in as a major sponsor for the festival.

Alongside, there will also be stalls showcasing the best of the region's food, wine and crafts.

Visitors can enjoy fashion shows, rock concerts, beauty pageants and even compete in an amateur golf tournament.