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Opening of the Indo-German Urban Mela in Mumbai

Mumbai, April 13th, 2012: For the coming ten days, Mumbaikars have the chance to participate in a mela of a different kind. The Indo-German Urban Mela - a unique blend of technology, science, culture and entertainment - was inaugurated on April 13th, 2012 at Cross Maidan Garden. On until April 22nd, 2012 in Mumbai, this urban extravaganza is part of the celebrations titled “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities” that commemorate 60 years of the establishment of Indo- German diplomatic ties.

The Indo-German Urban Mela is a set of modern multi-purpose pavilions with the thematic focus ”StadtRäume – CitySpaces”, and is designedby renowned German installation artist and designer, Markus Heinsdorff. Travelling across India, the multi-faceted exposition examines the impact of rapid urbanization and challenges posed by the pace of change in Indian and German cities today. Issues like mobility, energy, sustainable urban development, architecture, cultural space, education and urban art are prominently featured through a prism of genres such as the performing and visual arts, science, education, technology and business. Combining elements of the typical Indian mela and the German carnival, the Indo-German Urban Mela creates a unique city-space in the heart of the megacity, promising to entertain, challenge and engage the residents of Mumbai.

Partner organisations and institutions of the project such as Bajaj Allianz, BASF, Bosch, Deutsche Bank, Siemens, and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, among others, will display interactive solutions related to the thematic focus of the exposition.

Visitors can also savour German delicacies and beverages at the Beergarden—a replica of the German Biergarten, which is an important social space where friends and family interact. The Beergarden is managed by hospitality partner Vivanta by Taj – President, Mumbai. Apart from gastronomic treats, there are a host of other activities for visitors to explore during the 10-day festival. They include:

  • A ‘Silent Disco’ with wireless headsets – part of the India Goes 3D music festival

  • Pecha Kucha Night – a unique presentation of 20 slides in 20 seconds, set in a casual gathering where creative people meet and share their ideas on diverse subjects

  • Graffiti workshops by Akim Walta, ambassador of German Hip Hop art

  • Performance by the Cologne-based Schäl Sick Brass Band

  • Parada Narrnia – a fairy tale parade on stilts by theatre group Grotest Maru from Berlin

    In addition to these highlights, there will also be guided tours by the architect and designer Markus Heinsdorff, short film screenings, puppet theatre workshops, and many other workshops and conferences on music and art, including programmes exclusively for children. For the latest schedule of activities please visit www.germany-and-india.com. 

Following Mumbai, the Indo-German Urban Mela will travel to four of India’s major metropolises – Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Pune.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs, Germany said, “The Indo-GermanUrban Mela is an important milestone to reflect on the challenges faced by rapid development in cities, and to find sustainable solutions for them. Germany is a world leader in infrastructure and sustainable transport and building technologies. We are happy to be showcasing advanced technologies in this area at the Indo-German Urban Mela.”

Commenting on the project Mr. Cord Meier-Klodt, Germany’s acting Ambassador in India said, “Germany and India equally share concerns regarding the growth and quality of life in our cities and human habitats. It is our endeavour to further strengthen our relations with India through shared use of technology and knowledge that supports cities of the future. In that context, the Indo-German Urban Mela will open up a vista of ideas and solutions that we hope will help in creating a better future for our citizens.”

Dr. Martin Brudermüller, Representative Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) and Vice Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE remarked, “The participants in this project all have one goal in common: to intensify the long-term partnership between India and Germany. At the Indo-German Urban Mela, the German companies will showcase their ideas to address the challenges that result from the rapid urbanization of India. We have a lot to offer, and we want to open a discussion on how we can cooperate with our Indian partners to find sustainable solutions."

The year of Germany in India is initiated by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Goethe-Institut.

The official partners for the five-city tour include prominent companies such as Bajaj Allianz, BASF, Bosch, Deutsche Bank and Siemens. City partners for the Mumbai event include the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, Lanxess, Lapp India and SAP.



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