Diplomats make a song & dance… for fun

Gabriella Rechner

A foreigner playing the Indian national anthem is certainly rare. And when its a diplomat from Switzerland, it makes for a delightful sight. At a cultural programme The Confluence organized at a fivestar hotel on Saturday in Gurgaon, the performance by a Swiss diplomat who played Jan-Gan-Man on the piano was the show-stealer . For once, diplomats left all their strategic work and let their hair down. Not only officials, even spouses displayed their artistic skills in a celebration of art and culture. Diplomats from Switzerland , Indonesia, Egypt, and France sang and played music besides showcasing their paintings. While Swiss diplomat Artur Mattli on the piano enthralled the audience, Gabriella Rechner wife of Alain Rechner, a diplomat at the French embassy conducted an Austrian choir by Indian children. Interestingly , the 20 child participants have trained under Gabriella for four years and have performed across the globe. Gabriella also sang solo French and Hungarian songs. Sami Salem, Egypts deputy chief of mission in New Delhi, and Noha Hamdy Khalil, wife of first secretary, Egypt, presented various paintings that draw inspiration from the Indian society. Salem also had a portrait of Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor. I really like her, he said. Such shows are held in Europe and North America. This one has been organized for the first time. It is nothing less than celebrating international arts and cultural day, said Mattli, deputy head of mission of embassy of Switzerland, who has been here since 2008. Other participants and their families expressed similar views. To meet other diplomats and to learn about their skills feels great. I wish such events happen every year, said Noha, who started oil painting at the age of 12. Well known Kathak dancer Madhura Pathak left spectators spellbound with her classical movements while Mattli played one of his compositions Walking in the garden on the piano. It was a confluence in the true sense, said the relative of a Korean diplomat.

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