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India To Host Year-long ‘Ramayan’ Festival From Delhi

 

India is set to launch a year-long festival, seeking global connections through the celebration of Ramayan and its cultural significance. Coinciding with the Ayodhya Ram Temple inauguration, it marks the commencement of a cultural extravaganza uniting the world through Ramayana.

The Grand Inauguration

The festival is scheduled to commence from Delhi’s historic Purana Qila (Old Fort) on January 18 and will traverse various cities such as Lucknow, Ayodhya, and Varanasi. This marks the beginning of a cultural journey that will delve into the rich tapestry of the epic Ramayana.

Iconic Locations and Cultural Activities

Cultural activities are set to unfold in collaboration with state governments at iconic places associated with the Ramayana, including Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, Sitamarhi in Bihar, Hampi in Karnataka, and Kanniyakumari in Tamil Nadu. Additionally, cities like Bhopal and Jaipur will also be hosting events, making it a nationwide celebration.

Global Participation

India aims to transcend borders with this festival by involving seven neighboring countries, including Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. Minister of State for Culture, Meenakshi Lekhi, mentioned that Indian missions abroad are actively engaging with countries to finalize their participation, ensuring a diverse and inclusive celebration.

The Festival’s Diverse Offerings

The “Year of Connecting the World Through Ramayana” promises a vibrant array of events, starting with the inaugural week at Purana Qila from January 18-24. The festivities include ballet performances, talks, and interactive arts and crafts exhibitions centered around the Ramayana.

Cultural Exchange: Showcasing Diverse Ramayana Traditions

Minister Lekhi expressed excitement about the unique opportunity for Indian audiences to explore cultural forms of Ramayana practiced in other countries. Performances from Indonesia’s Kakawin Ramayana, Bali’s Wayang Kulit (shadow puppet show), Thailand’s Khon Ramakien, the Philippines’ Maranaco folk dance, Cambodia’s ancient puppetry Ramayana, and versions from Vietnam, Malaysia, and Mauritius will be featured.

The International Audience

The festival aims to attract members of the diplomatic corps, art connoisseurs, scholars, and dignitaries from various professional backgrounds. This inclusivity reinforces the festival’s goal of fostering cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.

India International Ramayan Mela

Kumar Tuhin, Director General of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), highlighted that this festival is an integral part of the seventh edition of the “India International Ramayan Mela.” The cultural and academic activities planned throughout the country emphasize the enduring relevance and universality of the Ramayana.

Ayodhya’s Role in the Celebration

Some of the performances showcased during the festival will also be featured at Ayodhya during the Ram Temple inauguration program on January 22. The grand ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony at the Ayodhya temple has garnered international attention, with around 100 heads from 55 countries, including Ambassadors and MPs, being invited to witness this historic event.

Important Questions Related to Exams

1. Where will the festival kick off initially?

2. How many neighboring countries are participating in the festival?

3. Which iconic location in Madhya Pradesh is part of the festival activities?

Kindly share your responses in the comment section.

 

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