When Italian folk musician and songwriter Eugenio Bennato recently played his music at the Italian Embassy in Delhi, the charmed audiences, both Indians and Italians, were transported to Italy by his performance. The founder of a musical movement called Taranta Power that began in 1998 to promote south-Italian folk culture through music, cinema and theater, Bennato's passion for Italian culture and heritage reflects in his love for music.
Bennato collaborated with artist Sonia Totaro, who sang along with him, clad in all red, on the occasion of National Day of Italy on June 2. The day marks Italy’s Republic Day commemorating the anniversary of the 1946 referendum through which Italians abandoned monarchy and became a republic.
In a first, the Italian maestro could also be seen having a jugalbandi with Rajasthani folk musicians Yar Mohammad and group who set the night in motion. Bennato was also heard praising the musical heritage of Indian musicians.
Earlier this year, Italy had extended full support to the Indian Presidency of G20. Later, the two countries announced elevating the bilateral relationship to the level of the strategic partnership while concluding a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation.
During the event, Italian Ambassador to India Vincenzo De Luca hailed India-Italy relationship and said it holds a special place as both the countries received Independence almost at the same time.
It was a feast at the Embassy of Italy in Delhi as Italian delicacies and wine flowed through the night. As the event flagged off, Indian and Italian national anthems were played and the Italian and Indian crowds participated to mark respect to both nations.
The guests in attendance also included Ambassador of Denmark Freddy Svane, Ambassador of Lithuania Diana Mickeviciene, Ambassador of Chile Juan Angulo, French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain, among others.
Also in attendance was Meenakshi Lekhi, minister of state for external affairs and culture who congratulated Italy on their National Day celebrations.