Mandala art is a form of expression that has been used for centuries by various cultures and religions. A mandala generally represents the spiritual journey, starting from outside to the inner core, through layers. The very nature of creating a mandala is therapeutic and symbolic. Mandala art can be a creative and therapeutic practice for anyone who wants to explore their inner world and express their emotions. It can also help to reduce stress, increase focus, and enhance mindfulness. Mandala art is a beautiful and powerful practice that can enrich your life in many ways.
“The seed of cultural harmony lies not in the culture you are born in but in the recognition of the sweetness of other cultures.”
Akitu Festival: A Celebration of New Beginnings in Ancient Mesopotamia
The Akitu feast was one of the most important religious festivals in ancient Mesopotamia. It marked the beginning of the new year and the renewal of life in spring. It was also a time to honor the supreme god Marduk and his son Nabu, who were believed to have created and ordered the universe out of chaos. It reaffirmed Marduk's role as the supreme god and creator of all things. It also reaffirmed the king's role as Marduk's representative on earth and his legitimacy as ruler of Babylon. It also reaffirmed the bond between the king, the gods, and the people, who shared a common destiny and fate.
Chhau Dance & Paryavaran Mela in Ranchi
We went to the Paryavaran Mela in Ranchi and saw a lovely Chhau dance in the evening. Chhau binds together people from different social strata and ethnic backgrounds with diverse social practices, beliefs, professions, and languages. This semi-classical dance form originated at the royal court of Saraikela, now in Jharkhand. However, increasing industrialization, economic pressures, and new media are leading to a decrease in collective participation with communities becoming disconnected from their roots.
Isko Caves: A Journey into the Past
Isko Cave is a natural cave located in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, India. It is considered to be a site of archaeological significance, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Stone Age. These Isko caves and rock art needs protection and maintenance. The ASI and the state government must take immediate steps to protect this heritage. This will promote tourism and bolster the local economy too.
Decorating Goddess Durga
The prominence of the worship of Durga dates back to a time in history that can best be described as the hoary past often considered to be similar in nature to the gradual development of mother and nature worship across the globe. The ornamentation is evolving through the ages. There were mainly two kinds of embellishments or saaj that used to be made then – sholar saaj and daker saaj. But nothing remains forever. Now, Durga idols are decorated with colourful sarees and ornaments.
Bahurupi: The Art of Disguise in Indian Folk Culture
A Bahurupi is a street performer, dressed up in various characters in different times and it is considered one of the ancient professions. For most performances, there is a story structured into the persona of the performer himself within his make-up, costume and role. Historically, these bohurupis would dress up as Hindu gods, goddesses, or mythical characters like Ram, Shiva, Kali, and so on and perform in front of Kings and zamindars. My first encounter with a bahurupi happened through one such immensely popular literary work titled Srikanta by ‘Katha shilpi’ Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
A Musical Evening in Baghdad
Attended a live musical concert performed by the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra at the National Theater in Baghdad, Iraq. The performance of the orchestra was pretty good. The theatre was quite full. The audience enjoyed the live classical music performance with silence and applause at the end. It was a wonderful musical evening. I enjoyed it very much.
Holi Celebration in Baghdad (2022)
Holi is considered one of the most revered and celebrated festivals of India and it is celebrated in almost every part of the country. It is also sometimes called the “festival of love” as on this day people get to unite together forgetting all resentments and all types of bad feelings towards each other. Holi was celebrated in Baghdad this year at the Embassy of India with colours, food, and game.
Sarna Sthal: A Grove of Faith
Groves, which are being worshipped since times immemorial are a cluster of trees where gods, goddesses, spirits are believed to reside. No one really knows for sure when and how humanity embarked on the veneration of trees and groves. The sacred groves are significant spots of biodiversity too are a priceless heritage of our nation that should be preserved for posterity.
International Mother Language Day (21 Feb)
Languages are disappearing: a worldwide shared interest and commitment is needed to help them survive. Languages disappear when their speakers do! This can happen due to internal factors, such as when a community has a negative attitude towards its own language and does not maintain or protect it from extinction, or due to external factors, such as when a government pursues a policy for a ‘lingua franca’. Let us all celebrate today the International Mother Language Day and promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism every day.