World Hails Grand CWG Opening

India entered the world stage in style on Sunday night. As a brilliant display of colours, textures and sounds at the Games opening ceremony, which included thunderous drums, yoga poses, Bollywood songs and a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, dazzled TV viewers around the world, the foreign media gave its judgment on the country: India has arrived, putting behind the event’s nightmarish runup plagued with problems. The opening ceremony made to the front page of newspapers across the Commonwealth nations and beyond, with most of them heaping lavish praise on the show. “India has arrived: spectacular ceremony opens Commonwealth Games,’’ read the Guardian’s headline. “At exactly two minutes past seven tonight, a huge inflatable blimp rose slowly and smoothly into the hot air above the stadium to the sound of hundreds of traditional drums, pipes and conch shells, and the cheers of 65,000 people,’’ the British newspaper said. Another British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, marvelled at how smoothly the ceremony was conducted. “A dazzling, colourful, high-octane opening ceremony that was part Bollywood, part cultural extravaganza, did much to dispel the nightmares of the past fortnight, thrilling a sell-out crowd in the stadium as well as the athletes and officials from 71 Commonwealth nations,’’ the Telegraph said in its report. Even Australian newspapers, which have been very critical of the Games’ preparation, were quite liberal in praising the Delhi event. “Delhi’s Commonwealth Games has managed yet another surprise, with the opening ceremony defying expectations last night to start on time before going off without a hitch to delight a crowd of 50,000 with a rich and exciting pageant befitting a country as vast and populous as India,’’ the Sydney Morning Herald said, adding that “elaborate park-and-ride facilities put in place for the main stadium appeared to work well.’’ Another newspaper from Down Under, The Australian, not only awarded the “first unofficial gold medal of the Games’’ to India “for best team uniform” at the opening ceremony, it found the Delhi show to be better than China’s grand display at Beijing in 2008. “Indian Games officials should feel proud of the opening ceremony, classy and showy but somehow warmer and less contrived than the Beijing experience,’’ the Australian said. The newspaper lauded the “inclusive’’ nature of the show. On Monday, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper ran a story on the “thunderous reception’’ given to the Pakistani contingent. While the New Zealand Herald of Wellington has called the opening ceremony “a deafening cacophony of noise and colour, a spine-tingling message to the 71 nations that make up the Commonwealth that Delhi was at last ready to make a decent fist as host nation’’, the Star of Johannesburg made a mention of jeers and cheers for Suresh Kalmadi, the head of the organizing committee. Though the Games are open only to former British colonies, it has generated interest in other major countries as well. On Monday, top American newspapers like New York Times and Washington Post too ran stories on the “wonderful’’ opening ceremony, with the Times saying that the Games are being “closely watched by economists and business executives around the world.’’

1 comment:

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