Germany showcased at Urban Mela in Bangalore
The 10-day Indo-German Urban Mela was inaugurated on 22 June in Bangalore by German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and the chief minister of Karnataka, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, along with the representative of Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business (APA) and senior vice-president & global head of SAP Labs, Clas Neumann.
Speaking on the occasion, Westerwelle said, “The Indo-German Urban Mela is an important event and is the centrepiece of the year of Germany in India. Fifty thousand people in Karnataka are currently employed in German companies. Going forward, there will be further thrust on trade and new investments in the state. I am confident that Urban Mela will serve as an inspiration in this direction.”
The Mela had a successful start in Mumbai in April 2012, examining the impact of rapid urbanisation and challenges posed by the pace of change in Indian and German cities today. After Banglaore, the Mela will travel to Chennai, Delhi and Pune.
Some of the highlights of the Urban Mela in Bangalore:
Science Workshops and Interactive Exhibits on Sustainable Urban Development
Enlarge image Visitors looking at interactive science exhibits at the Indo-German Urban Mela in Bangalore (© Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities) The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS), through its interactive exhibit in the Mela, offers solutions for sustainable construction and energy efficiency.
It addresses the key areas of German and European urban development policy and offers an insight of the current and future prospects in the fields of information and technology. In addition to this, it also provides information to visitors about opportunities to study and do research internships in Germany.
Siemens is showcasing technology solutions that help turn grey cities green. Through innovative and interactive formats such as the Siemens Sustainable City Tour and City Planning Experience, citizens of Bangalore can visualize how cities of the future will be built around solutions such as smart grid, transportation, intelligent buildings, public space security, and technology solutions for airports and ports. Siemens is also hosting a panel discussion and a workshop on city management.
Bosch and Lapp, India on their part have set up exhibits that showcase their Centres of Excellence to visitors, particularly trying to reach out to students.
'City dreams – Dream City' is an art workshop that seeks to link the youth into an awareness of the environmental issues and their concerns. The workshop series from 22 June till 1 July will see the building of a cityscape that culminates in an installation of the art work at the Culture Pavilion on the final day of the Mela.
Bangaloreans can refurbish and reincarnate their city by livening up dead city spaces with Mural artist, Gabor Doleviczenyi from Essen.
IGCC's Entrepreneurial Venture
Budding entrepreneurs can visit this stall organised by the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, as a platform for medium-sized businesses. Equipped with eight exhibitor booths and a central information counter, the stall serves as a bountiful source of information to visitors.
BASF - Chemistry calling
BASF - the German chemical multinational, through its display, offers a hands-on lab experience to young students who have an aptitude and inclination towards science and chemistry.
A host of discussions, conferences and exchange of ideas are organised by the official partners of the event addressing issues and solutions related to sustainable urban development. The Conference on Incremental Land Development as practices of Progressive Politics for Housing and Livelihood by Prof. Dr Solomon Benjamin from the Manipal School of Architecture and Planning is one among the many.
Identifying the need to promote German culture in India at large, the Goethe-Institut organises a one stop shop to familiarise oneself with German culture. Comprising a diverse range of events and workshops for children and adults, the Goethe Lounge allows one to take part in language teaser classes, watch movies at night and explore one's creative side in arts and crafts workshops.
In the area of education, the ‘Youth University’ was inaugurated on the first day of the Mela by Anne Renate Schönhagen, deputy director of Goethe-Institut, Bangalore. The Youth University comprises of a series of lectures and talks with the motto “Discover science and economics’’. “The Youth University aims to arouse curiosity and a thirst for knowledge amongst the youth through attractive and fascinating offers. It also promises to be a fun learning experience through various experiments and trigger an interest in unfamiliar areas of education, research and German enterprises based in Bangalore,"said Schönhagen.
Prof. S. Sadagopan, director of the Indian Institute for Information Technology, Bangalore said, “India has a large number of youth with brilliant brains and bright minds. All such people are looking forward for the right opportunity. India already has a history of remarkable performances at international platforms and keeps looking for more such opportunities. Germany offers all such cost effective opportunities through which the people can learn and gain.”
Music and Dance
Enlarge image Hip-hop dancer and choreographer Niels 'Storm' Robitzky conducts a dance workshop at the Urban Mela (© Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities) Indo-German rythms by Mattolrremit fill the musical space of the Mela. Masala FX - Choregraphed by Samir Akika with Bangalore dancers add to the glamour with their jigs!
In addition to these highlights, there are guided tours by the architect and designer Markus Heinsdorff, short film screenings, theatre workshops for children, and many other workshops and conferences on music and art, including programmes exclusively for children and also ones that foster Indo-German friendship cooperation.
The official partners for the five-city tour include prominent companies such as Bajaj Allianz, BASF, Bosch, Deutsche Bank and Siemens. City partners for the Bangalore event include the IGCC, Metro, DHL and VW among others.