New Delhi, Feb 5: A three-day Sufi music festival here featuring musicians from Spain, Russia, Iran, Tunisia, Azerbaijan and India will promote cultural dialogue between India and the rest of the world.
The festival at the Kamani Theatre Feb 6-8 will open with performances by the Pinana Brothers from Spain, Mugam from Azerbaijan and Sidi Goma from Gujarat.
The opening soirees will be followed by renditions from Bengal Bihar Sufi Folk Group, Otava Yo Group, the Ghazal Sufi Ensemble Group, Indira Naik from Mumbai and Mechket Group from Tunisia.
The word “Sufi” is derived from the Greek word “Sofia”, which means wisdom, according to medieval Iranian scholar Abu Rayhan al-Buruni. It has a universal philosophy that predates Islam. The growth of Sufism as a culture stream of thought dates back to the 13th century poet Jalal-ud-din-Muhammed Rumi, whose poetry is divided into ‘rubaiyat’ (quatrains) and odes (ghazals).
“The Indian Council for Cultural Relation’s (ICCR) support to the International Sufi Festival is in continuation of its support last year with the conviction that Sufi tenets originated before the advent of Islam. Their roots in the gypsy tradition and have been closer to nature without influence from any narrow beliefs,” Suresh K. Goel, director-general of ICCR, said.
Goel said the Sidhi Goma band from Gujarat has its origin “in the vibrant rhythms of Africa while baul music of West Bengal is rooted in nomadic traditions”.
Through the Silk Route, Sufism connects Europe and the middle east with central Asia. It is a global phenomenon which transcends religion.
The music of Iran will showcase the thousand-year history of music. The Russian ensemble will present a combination of folk and Sufi music. The troupe, Azerbaijan Mugam, sings an ancient genre of music that is emotional and nuanced, upholding the spirit of the old Islamic faith.