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Category Archives: Culture

Festival for the Guardian Deity

In the Auroville bioregion are many temples associated with the local deities which the villagers propitiate for sound living and greater harmony. One such deity is the Ayyanaar, who is the Guardian of the space, known for keeping negative influences at bay. One can identify this deity by the large red warrior sitting with his two consorts, prominently displayed on the roadside.
The custom of the villagers is to conduct festivals at regular intervals to keep the energy of the deity vibrant and alive. One such festival is the celebration of the 'Marriage day' of Ayyanaar with his consorts. This festival has been celebrated recently on April 24th. It is surprising to see that this day coincides with that of the Mother's Final Arrival day in Pondicherry, April the 24th. Coincidence or synchronicity!?! Just a play of the Divine, maybe!
So on this occasion, the village held an all-night play depicting the story of Ayyanaar in the local folk tradition. Here is the audio of some interesting parts from the 5 hour play.

Introduction to Kabir's poetry

Dr.Sehdev Kumar gives a rich introduction about Kabir's poetry and brief history. The presentation included translation and comments in English, and delicate musical intervals by Chandreshi on flute.
Dr. Sehdev Kumar takes us through the journey of a style of poetry, which was born in India during the 15th century, and stayed alive to this day with its deep philosophical messages.
The cultural and informative event was brought to Auroville by a collaboration of the Pavillon of Tibetian Culture and the Canadian Pavillon.

Art and Culture Workshop

It was a three days workshop organised by Bharat Niwas, it was conducted by artists from SEWA (Self Employed Women Association), Gujarat. They taught people the almost lost art of block printing and tie and dye which was used earlier for cloth printing and now it is getting replaced by screen printing and other techniques. This workshop was to make people know more closely about Indian culture.
A lot of people from all age groups took interest in the workshop.
We had an interview with Seema Majumdar from Darpana Acedmy, Gujarat and she talked about the work they do and how they are taking efforts to educate people about the art and culture of India.

12 Women, Infinite stories..

On March 8th Unity Pavillion invited 12 women from different nationalities and different cultures to share their stories as a part of International Women's Day celebration. They talked about love, fights, fears, insecurities, inspirations, and a lot more, shared their journeys, the struggles they had been through all of their lives, problems they faced being a woman and how they kept moving on in their lives with or without support. They expressed their views on feminism, gender equality, etc. In the two hours a million stories were told, all different but still one thing common in all of them and that is the high spirits women possess. After the talk there were beautiful cultural dance performances (including, Odissi , Kathakali, Bharatnatyam, and contemporary), all were prayers to the 'Devi', not any physical being but the feminine side embedded in nature. And this session of sharing ended with a fun pot luck dinner.


Comments: 0 Date: 10 Mar 2017

A talk with Lisbeth and Ashwin

In the hustle of reaching to our destination we often forget to look around the path we are walking on. We just cross a lot of things without even noticing the beautiful depths they bear. And we do the same while going to Pondicherry from Auroville, we pass a small village called Muthialpet. Even the people traveling through this road daily don't know that such a place even exist because they always try to run as fast as they could from there because of all the traffic but in this they forget to consider going inside the village and know it truely. Lisbeth and Ashwin decided to pay a visit to this village. Very impressively they captured the essence of this place in their photographs and exhibited them to let people know this place more closely and not judging it based on the outside traffic. They have showed Muthialpet in every light from dawn to dusk in their exhibition held in Pitanga. To know more about the exhibition and the experience they had while shooting Muthialpet listen to the talk we had with the Photographers.


Comments: 0 Date: 03 May 2017

Interview with Dr. Sehdev Kumar

An introduction of Kabir's philosophical poetry by Dr. Sehdev Kumar. Through the tale of the illiterate poet Kabir, we revisit the history and politics of India from the 15th century to the India of today.
The poetry and songs of the people, that has no particular religious attachment nor a cast. Still very popular to this days, Kabir's poetry remains rich with insight and philosophy.

Dance of Shiva

An American dancer goes to the high lands of South Indian Dance looking for the origins of the danced theater of India: BarathaNatyam.
She meets and follows in the sacred temple the greatest Tamil Nadu dancer, Swarnamukhi and her student Manochhaya, who are dancing for the Gods.
A documentary film introduced by the movie maker Lionel Tardif and the dance student actress Manochaya.
Presented by the French Pavilion. Recorded Saturday 4th February 2017.

Celebrating Tamil New Year 2017

A collaboration of Ilaignarkal Education Center and Mohanam Cultural Center, brought together the Tamil New Year celebration in Auroville hosted by Visitor Center.
The Ilaignarkal Education Center is involved with teaching and bringing together the Tamil workers of Auroville. The Mohanam Cultural Center experiment with making different sorts of instruments (mainly percussion, string and wind instruments) out of local material.
Almost like a harvest festival many seasonal fruits and vegetables were presented in honor of the Tamil New Year. Astrological predictions were announced as what the coming year would bring. Live traditional Tamil music and dance enhanced the event.

Princesse Polignac

My Life in Revolution with the Princess Constance de Polignac.
The life of the Princess Constance de Polignac is the exceptional journey of a Woman's Life, crossed since early childhood by extraordinary trials and experiences, which led her from the sophisticated spheres of a princely aristocracy linked to the history of France ... to deserts and Virgin forests of the First Peoples who initiated it, and immediately recognized as master and healer.
This unique experience, integrated in consciousness in each of the cells of her woman's body, places at the heart of her life path the status of the Feminine and her recognition by the Masculine, "a crucial stake in the construction of a completely new world".
Presented by the French Pavilion.

Mini Festival du Film

Lionel Tardif, ex and long-time Director-Curator of the Tours Cultural Centre (France) will present
a montage of several films (extracts of about 10 'each) which retraces the main stages of the first period of the cinema from the primitives (1895-1920) to the End of the mute (1930) through the successive schools: the burlesque, the Swedish school, German expressionism, the Russian school and the French avant-garde. These periods show how the grammar of the cinema was constituted, and the first great cinematographic ideas which came to the attention of the preoccupations which were also born in theater, painting, music, architecture. This telescoping will give its letters of nobility to the art of the image which is enriched by drawing from the other arts. Little by little the cinema becomes a total art.
The event was organized by The French Pavilion.

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