Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Global good over evil!

The legend of India’s most ideal man, at least going by mythology, has quite a cult following in southeast Asia too. In the six month period between May & October that includes the time when we celebrate Lord Ram’s homecoming to his kingdom Ayodhya after slaying demon king Ravana (Dussehra) in India, there are performed the famous Ramayana Ballets in the Pramabanan Temple compound in Java, Indonesia. A world heritage site, the compound houses temples dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Lord Vishnu, Shiva & Brahma and their respective carriers.
Magnificent architecture attracting the faithful and the curious, the temple’s most renowned event is the ‘Sendratari’ or the dance recitals of Ramayana. As 250 artists render an ornately executed tale of a familiar epic from Indian mythology across a series of four episodes every time, the audience, comprising a composite mix from around the world, are held to their seats by a brilliant communion of theatrics, music, action & dance. For one, the scene where the messenger monkey Hanuman sets fire to Lanka after meeting Sita is one to collect dropped jaws! As characters named Ram Wijaya, Dewi Shinta, Rahwan & Hanoman take positions, the Indians, could only be reverentially elated…

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Festive esprit de corps!
Festival times translate to joys of togetherness, spirit of tradition, and worth of belonging. When celebrated far from culturally familiar environs, the ceremonial joie de vivre essentially remains true to form and fun, but for that added sense of heightened communal conformity & revelry! A look at some of our very own national calendar carnivals jamming the streets across the seas…

Khalsa’s Canadian canter Yellow mustard field replaced by cattle ranches, festivity on the river banks replaced by the elite community parks and continuous reading of the Sikh scriptures replaced by a few minutes visit to the Gurudwara doesn’t lessen the spirit of Baisakhi, in Canada. The Sikh community celebrates Baisakhi every year in all major parts of Canada with annual Baisakhi parades, let only the 50,000 Sikhs in Toronto, who hold the Toronto Baisakhi Parade, attended by the Mayors and city authorities as well. The festival marking the birth of the Sikh com-munity and the advent of the harvest season, though back home gathers a crowd of 80,000 dressed traditionally in colourful costumes & heavy jewellery in Surrey alone, making it the largest Baisakhi celebration in North America. The provision for free food all along the route of the parade, followed by cultural performances in a country far away from the origin of Khalsa, symbolises not only attachment with the roots but the host nation’s ethnic tolerance too!

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2007

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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