• The Mithila Center USA successfully organized the Mithila Festival USA 2021 with Art, Culture and Literature program from 14 to 17 April 2021. This year’s Festival also included celebration of Mithila Folk-King Salhesh Jayanti, New Year 2078 B.S. and JurShital Festival. Several dignitaries of Nepal, India and USA had addressed the opening ceremony of the Festival highlighting importance of Mithila art and culture. H.E. Amrit Rai, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. John Liu, Senator of New York State Senate, Hon’ble Mr. Lal Kishor Sah, Mayor of Sub-Metropolitan City of Janakpurdham, Hon. Harry Bhandari, Member of Maryland House of Delegates, Mr. Bishnu Prasad Gautam, Acting Consul-General of Nepal in New York, John Guy, Senior Art Curator of Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, among others, delivered their remarks on the occasion.
  • Greeting Messages had been received from various dignitaries and elected officials, including H.E. Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Ambassador of Nepal to the United States, Hon. Grace Meng, Member of the United States Congress (U.S. House of Representatives), Hon. Catalina Cruz, Member of New York State Assembly, Bil De Blasio, Mayor of New York City, Hon. Scott Stinger, Comptroller of New York City, Hon. Davon Richard, President of Queens Borough of New York City, Hon. Eric Adams, President of Brooklyn Borough of New York City, Hon. Ranadhir Jaisawal, Consul-General of India in New York.
  • The Festival’s theme “Art for SDGs: The Mithila Heritage” were emphasized by all speakers of the four-day program as timely and relevant towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Since the Covid-19 pandemic caused public health crisis all over the world during the past one year, the Mithila Festival laid emphasis on SDG-3 (Good Health and Well-being) with a view to generating community awareness and developing preventive measures. Further, such exhibition also promotes Mithila Art which is being produce mostly by woman artists and this will also help in advancing entrepreneurship and women empowerment.
  • The Mithila Festival USA 2021 is a second-in-series since the First Mithila Festival with the same theme had been organized at the United Nations Headquarters, New York in April 2019.
  • The programme was moderated by Mr. Nawal Yadav from Kathmandu, a chartered accountant and the winner of the United Nations Secretary-General Award for Champion of Sustainable Development Goals in coordination with Mr. Amit Shah, the founder & President of Mithila Center, USA. Mr. Yadav highlighted that Mithila culture is the foundation of Hindu civilization and has the root of the time of Sita Ram. Janakpurdham, is well known by the epic of the Ramanayan, as the capital of Mithila Kingdom and the wedding place of Lord Ram with Goddess Sita (also known as Janaki, daughter of the liberated soul King Janak). Mithila culture has survived over millennia in view of its relevance and fosters modern principles and values of humanity, equality, liberty, justice, peace and progress of all humankind. Further, Mithila Art has been known to exist for centuries and they are drawn by the female members of the household.
  • The art exhibition was held for all four days of the Festival. Eleven artists (one male and 10 females and most of them from rural villages) selected from a large group of artists exhibited their paintings and each of them presented their artwork to the viewers and participants in the Festival. The artwork reflected SDG 3 and other areas. The auction of the arts has been open for a week. Details are available at the website mithilacenter.com
  • New York State Senator John Liu awarded “Certificate of Appreciation”to all eleven Artists in recognition of their dedication to Mithila art and participation in the exhibition. The awardees include Amrita Dutta, Madhumala Mandal, Manjula Thakur, Pano Das, SudhiraKarn all from Janakpur Women Development Centre (JWDC), Namrata Singh, Manisha Shah, S. C. Suman, Sunaina Thakur from Nepal, Nupur Nishith (India, currently living in New Jersey), and Sweta Jha (Singapore).
  • A panel discussion on the “New Year 2078 B.S. / Folk King Salhesh Jyanti/JurShetal Celebrations” was held which covered the historical importance of these celebrations in Mithila people and need to preserve and promote good values of these celebrations. Lahan Municipality Mayor Muni Shah Sudi chair the program and shared his key note remarks. Further, distinguished guest including Mr. Pushpa Raj Bhattarai (Former Consul General of Nepal in New York), Dr. Shefilika Verma, Dhrendra Premarshi and Sunil Mallick presented their view point and also perform on this auspicious occasion.
  • Distinguished guest artists Murlidhar Mijhar, Pravinin Narayan Chaoudhary, Sangeeta Deo and Krishna Kumar Mahato participated and perform at the special program on Mithila Culture, Music and Literature.
  • The Expert Panel on “Mithila Art, Culture, Literature & Linguistic” was held about the background, significance, current status and the need for preservation and promotion of Mithila Heritage, songs and performances which highlighted how the society has entertained during various festivals and celebrated as a community together. The distinguished expert panelists were; Professor Dr. Yogendra Yadav, Professor Dr. Ram Dayal Rakesh, Professor Dr. Rajendra Bimal and Mr. Ram Bharosh Kapari Bhramar.
  • A “Taste of Mithila” was held to demonstrate a wide variety of the Mithila food/cuisine by Chef Mahesh Shah.
  • A panel discussion on “Community Leaders, Interactions & Discussion on Mithila Cultural Heritage Preservation and Promotion in Diaspora” was held. Participants made encouraging remarks that how they contribute in promotion and preservation of Mithila Heritage in USA and abroad in coordination with respective organizations. USA based different Madheshi/Terain community organization representative and community leaders participated in the program.
  • The closing ceremony with cultural program was held in a grand manner on 17 April 2021. The Chief Guest of the occasion His Excellency Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Ambassador of Nepal to USA thanked the Mithila Center for further promoting Mithila heritage of centuries and expressed his commitment for future program of Mithila Center, USA. Hon. Grace Meng, Congresswoman, House of Representative, participated in the program and expressed appreciation recognition to Mithila Center USA for organizing such programme. Further, Congresswoman Grace Meng presented U.S. Congressional Proclamation for Mithila Festival USA and this ever first kind of U.S Government recognition presented to any Mithila Community program.
  • The founder and president of Mithila Center, Amit Shah also announce that this year, Mithila Center, USA honoring five distinguished personalities with Lifetime Achievement Award for their outstanding contribution in promoting Mithila Art, Culture, Literature & Linguistic. The awardees included Professor Dr. Yogendra Yadav, Professor Dr. Ram Dayal Rakesh, Professor Dr. Rajendra Bimal, Mr. Ram Bharosh Kapari Bhramar and Mrs. Claire Burkert. Further, he also informed that the New York State Assembly will be also honoring all Life Time Achievement Awardees for their outstanding contribution and participation at Mithila Festival USA 2021.
  • The Nepal Tourism Board short documentary of visit Janakpurdham premiered and also Maithili culture popular JhiJhiya song/dance was performed by Keetikaa Jha during closing ceremony.
  • On behalf of the Mithila Center, Founder & President Mr. Amit Shah expressed his gratitude to all the distinguished guests/ speakers for their participation in the Festival and for the greeting messages of their support and best wishes for the success of the Festival. This overwhelming support underlined the need to promote Mithila art and culture in USA for peace, prosperity and solidarity of Mithila community. He also expressed thanks to all expert panel members and speakers for providing their insights and suggestions.
  • Last but not least, he conveyed thanks to all team members, volunteers, performers, media and viewers who watched the Festival through social media and shared their encouraging feedback and all well-wishers of Mithila Center USA/Mithila Festival who had directly or indirectly extended their support to the Festival.

April 19, 2021


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