2012 Arab News
2012-02-14 Janadriyah draws 1.5 million visitors
Published: Feb 14, 2012 00:25 Updated: Feb 14, 2012 00:25

RIYADH: As the three gates of the heritage village in Janadriyah opened for families and women on Monday, the number of total people visiting the festival grounds exceeded 1.5 million, it was announced by the events organizers.

Maj. Gen. Abdul Rahman Al-Zamil, commander of the security unit in Janadriyah, said the National Heritage and Cultural Festival drew as many as 1.3 million visitors during the first three days, which were exclusively for men. He attributed this record number of visitors, both citizens and foreigners, to it being the weekend days of Thursday and Friday and the pleasant weather in the village.

Tens of thousands of women and children streamed into Janadriyah, which turned out to be a global heritage city where several states have set up their pavilions. The pavilion of South Korea is one of the major attractions of this years festival. South Korea showcased 32 exhibits that give visitors an opportunity to have a closer look at the rich heritage and culture of the guest country. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was the guest of honor at the opening ceremony of this years festival. The GCC pavilion is also another attraction at the village.

Referring to the activities for women, Mauda Al-Baqami, head of the womens committee for heritage at Janadriyah, said this years festival would be different from previous ones in many respects. We hope the festival would draw a large number of non-Saudi women in order to find out more about our rich culture and heritage. We will organize six separate workshops to train women on various handcrafts and trades free of charge, and each participant would be presented with a certificate from the committee, he said.
The three-day workshop would focus on providing training on crafts using palm leaves, engraving henna, using environmental waste for some fine art works, spinning and weaving wool, and ceramic works among others. Folklore songs and dances will be staged at the theatre that was set up at the womens tent. Al-Baqami said there would be a specialized tent for children where several heritage activities and popular games for kids will be held.

The tent will be conspicuous with the presence of a grandmother called Umm Ayesha who will narrate fables and stories to children. She tends to arouse childrens curiosity by disclosing to them secrets of heritage games and drawing their attention to the significance of preserving the Kingdoms rich cultural heritage. At the tent, there will also be a woman trainer, Nadia Al-Sabbag, who will teach children a number of heritage and popular games.

Janadriyah village is open for families, women and children from 4 p.m. till 12 a.m. for 12 days through to Feb. 24.

2012 Arab News
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