Soneva Gili Luxury Resort Celebrates Maldives Festivals

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Soneva Gili Maldives Resort - Jorg Sundermann

Monty Don, Jung Chang and Ian McEwan are set to visit Soneva Gili as the international festival heads to the Indian Ocea. Soneva Gili recently announced its sponsorship of the inaugural Maldives offshoot of the internationally renowned Hay-on-Wye literary festival which is taking place in the Maldives from the 14th to 17th October 2010.

The Hay Festival Maldives will celebrate 2,000 years of Maldivian island culture and provide a platform for focusing international attention on the challenges faced by the archipelago due to climate change, bringing together international and local artists from the fields of literature, art, science, music, poetry and comedy.

The Festival will be staged on Aarah island near Male, the Maldives capital, with Soneva Gili’s sponsorship focusing on three key projects:

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Monty Don workshop for Maldivian youth – Monty Don, the much loved British BBC TV presenter and celebrity gardener, will be staying at Soneva Gili for the entire festival. Monty will conduct a workshop with a number of Maldivian students from the North Male Atoll, in a bid to teach them how to create compost from waste and how to grow their own fruit and vegetables. This educational awareness is to play a major part in the Maldives’ aim to reach carbon neutrality by 2020 and will help the local islanders learn more about self sufficiency with the ultimate aim of reducing dependency on the transportation of supplies.

Monty will run the workshop from Soneva Gili’s organic garden which provides the resort with salads, herbs, fruit and vegetables.

The Reef Project – A century of Maldivian life – Soneva Gili will also be supporting the Hay Festival’s workshops throughout 2010 and 2011 that will teach children how to interview their parents and grandparents in order to gather stories about their life experiences over the last hundred years. These stories will be collected in an online library and form the launchpad for the Hay Festival Maldives in 2011.

Festival finale at Soneva Gili – Finally, Soneva Gili will host the grand finale at the end of the Festival, with an invitation-only celebration. Guests will dance to popular Maldivian band Zero Degree Atolls and meet with Festival authors including Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans, novelist Ian McEwan, author of Atonement, local Maldivian writers Ogaru Ibrahim Waheed and Fathmath Nahula to name just a few. Many more will be announced in the coming weeks.

Soneva Gili will be running daily shuttles from the resort to the Festival for luxury resort guests to enjoy the talks, exhibitions and fun.


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