Indo-Cameroon Cooperation: King Bell Recounts Indian Visit Experience
This was during a ceremony at the ‘Salle des fetes’ in Akwa-Douala on Friday June 7, 2019.
Within the framework of the Indo-Cameroon relations, King Bell of Douala visited India from19 to 25 February attended the Kumbh Mela religious festival on the invitation of the Indian government. In order to share the experiences gathered from the visit, a ceremony was organized in honour of the King at the ‘Salle des Fetes’ in Douala on Friday June 7, 2019.
Speaking during the ceremony, King Jean Yves Eboumbou Douala Manga Bell, who happens to be practicing yoga, said early in life he was exposed to Indian and Chinese cultures as well as the writings of Cheihk Anta Diop which influenced his personality.
He said the Indian visit was inspiring as it is similar to the Ngondo festival where water is considered sacred. During his stay in India he was received by the Indian Prime Mi nister and had the opportunity to bathe in the River Ganges.
Presenting the Kumbh Mela festival, the Indian Consul to Cameroon, Ravi Kumar said it is the world’s largest religious pilgrimage which brings together over 120 million people. It is inscribed in UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. It is celebrated when the planets are lined up, considered to be a holy period as it is believed sins are washed away when one bathes in the river Ganges during the 55-day period.
The story goes that angels churned the ocean to get the nectar of immortality and were chased for 12 days by devils to partake of the nectar. In their flight the nectar fell on four spots. It is on these spots that the festival takes place rotating manner once every three years. The restitution ceremony also witnessed musical performances from Indian and Cameroonian artistes prominent among whom was Sandrine, a blind Cameroonian who sang popular Indian film songs like ‘piya piya’ and ‘aja aja’. A little girl Yogesh Borkar Siya stole the show dancing to the tune of Douala traditional music. There was also a demonstration of yoga by the Hearfulness institute.