SHILLONG: Thousands of people on Saturday thronged the various venues of the 4th India International Cherry Blossom Festival. Tourists both Indian and foreigners were seen enjoying their day out.
On the final day of the festival, various events were held to foster economic and cultural ties between India and South Korea. It may be mentioned that South Korea is the partner country in this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival.
It may be mentioned that a bilateral summit between South Korea and Meghalaya to foster socio-economic friendship was also held.
In a bid to strengthen the ties between the two countries, there was screening of Korean movies as well as performance by K-Pop artist, Jang Hanbyul.
A visit to Polo Fifth Ground, one could see the various stalls there being swarmed by visitors especially those selling local cuisine. Those who came were treated to various mouth watering dishes.
Another key venue for the festival was Ward’s Lake; visitors especially the youth were seen thronging the venue be part of the festival.
South Korean Ambassador to India Shin Bong-Kil who graced the closing function of this year’s India International Cherry Blossom Festival while addressing the gathering at Polo Fifth Ground said that he was surprised to learn that K-pop or Korean pop is immensely popular in the State. Meghalaya Forest and Environment Minister Lahkmen Rymbui was the guest of honour at the closing function.
“I hope that one day groups like BTS will perform in this city,” Bong-Kil said. The South Korean Ambassador to India also said that he expects mutual cooperation in cultural and economic sphere between South Korean and Meghalaya.
“This is the best ever time in bilateral relationship between the two countries and the future looks even better and Meghalaya can contribute to it,” Bong-Kil said.
The South Korean Ambassador to India also expressed his happiness that Chief Minister Conrad Sangma will be visiting South Korea to further strengthen the bilateral ties between Meghalaya and South Korea.
He also said that before his departure on Sunday he will be meeting Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy. Bong-Kil also informed that the two sides are looking to tie up in the field of tourism, reclamation of abandoned mines, and restoration of water bodies amongst other spheres. He also gave away prizes to winners of the various events held during the festival.
Later in the evening, there was a traditional music ensemble of the Khasis and Koreans.
Earlier in the day, the Cherry Blossom Golf Tournament was organized. The prize winners were Gaurav Baja (maximum birdies), in the ladies category, the nett winner was Gunjan Singhania and the nett runners-up was Pooja Goenka.
In the men’s veteran category, the winner was KW Marbaniang, the nett runners-up was Tony Curtis Lyngdoh.
In the men’s (13-24) category, the nett winner was Dilip K Borah, the nett runners-up was Joydeep Bhattacharjee.
The Stableford winner was Dr P Hangsing and the Stableford runners-up was Fearless Warjri.
In the men’s (0-12) category, the gross winner was Gaurav Bajaj, the gross runners-up was Batkupar Synrem, the nett winner was Dr KI Singh and the nett runners-up was Lakshya Bajaj.