"To see everyone performing with so much grit and confidence in front of their esteemed gurus made me nostalgic and brought back fresh memories from my childhood days," said Deepavali Sangamam Guest of Honour Rituparna Sengupta.
The celebrated Bengali actress inspired the audience with her candid speech kicking off the Hindustani classical, Carnatic vocals and keyboard and tabla performances by students and alumni of the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society's (SIFAS) five-day collaborative event.
The annual festival, themed 'Raise your Light', was on a PHYDIGITAL platform this year due to the pandemic. For the first time ever, SIFAS collaborated with 11 Indian associations in Singapore as well as supporting partners Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA), Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (LISHA) and Pravasi Express.
"Singapore is home to me and for many years I have been commuting between my work which is in India and here where my home is," Ms Sengupta said. "SIFAS has always been that organisation which has inspired us in every possible way. I felt a sense of bonding and strong connection between the teachers and the students here."
This event marks the first live programme on the SIFAS Stage since the COVID-19 lockdown and was held as per the rules of 80 persons allowed per day.
Ms Sengupta said that "getting to see an august audience after so many days of confinement felt like a breath of fresh air" and SIFAS' efforts and event had been an inspiration to artists and the Indian community in Singapore.
“Sangamam, which means ‘confluence’ was truly brought alive with myriad Indian cultural threads coming together to light up these times. Each Indian association and group proved to be a colourful torchbearer of their arts, we discovered what a treasure of Indian arts we have in Singapore,” KV Rao, president SIFAS, said.