Dubai: In a historic first, the heart of Dubai witnessed a magnificent Ram Leela performance, captivating the Hindu community living in the emirate and adding a vibrant cultural touch to the city’s diverse landscape.
This grand-scale event featured a dedicated team of 35 artists who worked tirelessly to make their maiden production a monumental success. The Emirates Theater in Dubai served as the backdrop for this cultural extravaganza.
Remarkably, all the artists who brought this Ram Leela to life are Indian expatriates residing and working in the UAE, hailing from various professional backgrounds and industries.
To ensure the performance met the highest standards of authenticity and artistic excellence, the organizers enlisted the expertise of 83-year-old Dr. Kushnath Chaturvedi, a venerable figure in the world of dramatic staging. Dr. Chaturvedi, renowned for his leadership in staging Ramlilas at prominent locations such as Delhi’s Pragati Maidan, Ramlila Maidan, and Mumbai’s Chowpatty, devoted a month to training and mentoring the local artists.
Of the entire Ramlila team, only three individuals arrived from India, while the remaining 32 artists are residents of the UAE who diligently balanced their professional lives as bankers, auditors, teachers, traders, and salespeople with their unwavering commitment to the Ramlila production.
The Global Indian Festival Organization, under the chairmanship of Mr Chandrashekhar Bhatia, orchestrated this remarkable event in Dubai. Bhatia emphasized that the initiative aimed to connect the Indian diaspora in the UAE, especially the younger generation born in Dubai, who typically visit India only during holidays.
Through this cultural celebration, the event sought to deepen their ties to their heritage and roots. The Dubai government, through its cultural body, wholeheartedly endorsed and supported the endeavor, reaffirming its dedication to promoting cultural exchange among the 192 nationalities residing in the emirate.
The occasion was graced by H.E. Mirza Hussain Al Sayegh, a former diplomat, and featured Suraj Chaturvedi, who took on the role of Lord Ram while managing his duties as an accountant. Banke Vihari Chaturvedi, an auditor by profession, portrayed the formidable character of Ravana, embodying the spirit of the epic.