In commemoration of India’s 75 years of independence, the Indian Consulate here in collaboration with a city-based cultural organisation and a children’s museum commenced a week-long celebration involving a plethora of activities, including traditional paintings, music and storytelling, that honour the history of India’s people, culture and achievements.
The Consulate General of India in New York, The Culture Tree and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) kicked-off the special activities and interactive programming on Monday that aim to celebrate the diversity of India and its people through dance, music, literature, puppetry, drama, food and art, The Culture Tree said in a statement.
“We are extremely excited to bring a celebration on India to all the children and their families in New York. We are committed to celebrating freedom, culture and achievements of India in all these years,” said Consul General Randhir Jaiswal while launching the India@75 in New York, a worldwide celebration commemorating the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.
He lauded the partnership with the Children’s Museum and The Culture Tree to “celebrate India in this milestone year.” Anu Sehgal, founder and President of The Culture Tree that provides South Asian-themed classes and programmes, said that through these events, “we can offer cross-cultural exposure that can help shape knowledgeable, open-minded and respectful individuals, while also offering ways in which children and families from the diaspora can connect with and celebrate their heritage.” Emphasising that children learn about themselves by learning about others, Director, Public Programmes & Curator of Contemporary Art at CMOM David Rios said that: “programmes like ‘India at 75′ and our many other celebrations give families wonderful opportunities to both share their cultural practices and learn about those enjoyed by their friends and neighbours.” The various activities, that will run through April 24, include fabric prints and textile design in the traditional symbols, colours, and fabrics of India, eco-friendly architecture, art creation inspired by Warli painting using crayons, markers, and chalk with guest artist Kavita Rajput sharing tips for making art inspired by Warli painting, story-telling and puppet shows.
The week-long activities also include a performance and dance workshop ‘The Tree Hugger’, that will use Indian classical dance to tell the true story of legendary Amrita Devi, who along with her three daughters made the ultimate sacrifice in 1730 to protect trees in their community.“Their sacrifice moved their village and later the entire country, inspiring the environmental movement called CHIPKO,” the statement said. Aditi Dhruv from Thresh Dance will be performing to the script written by author Mona Sehgal.
In the activity titled ‘Drum Making’, participants will be able to build their own set of drums, inspired by the Indian percussion instrument known as the tabla, to create beats and playful percussions. Participants will also be able to explore Indian classical music through the tabla, sitar, teen taal and other cultural instruments.
In ‘Story Time with Anu Sehgal’, the head of The Culture Tree will share some of her favorite children’s books as participants will be able to explore Indian language, art and culture through the works of leading Indian authors and illustrators.The puppet show ‘Colors of Krishna’s Love’ will educate about the festival of colours, Holi, through an interactive show with dance, drama, puppetry, and songs.
Through her book ‘Always Anjali’, acclaimed author Sheetal Sheth will tell the story of Anjali, who gets the bike of her dreams on her birthday but is unable to find a matching licence plate with her name, making her upset and wanting to change her name.The book explores how Anjali learns to celebrate who she is and carry her name with pride.
The Culture Tree provides South Asian themed educational and cultural programmes that enrich the lives of children and their families and promotes a deeper connection with their roots and the world around them using language, art, puppet shows, dance, food and the holidays to provide an immersive experience. Established in 1973, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan offers imaginative and enriching exhibitions and programmes.