West indian culture

A kaleidoscope of culture in Delhi’s Bikaner House – The New Indian Express

Express press service

Rajasthan, India’s largest state, offers cultural diversity and a rich mix of food, dance, music and costumes that reflect India’s rich heritage. Home to a number of communities, there is a lot that can be discovered in the desert state of India.

To provide a glimpse into the state’s rich culture, Bikaner House, India Gate hosted “Rajasthan Utsav”, a seven-day festival which was inaugurated on March 24 to mark the completion of 73 years of training of Rajasthan – March 30 is celebrated as Rajasthan Diwas [day].

“We take immense pleasure in positioning Bikaner House as the gateway to Rajasthan. We believe in providing a common platform for all kinds of Indian and international art forms,” said Shubhra Singh , Senior Resident Commissioner, Government of Rajasthan, New Delhi.

A multi-colored cultural affair

Rajasthan Utsav showcases an array of cultural events that offer insight into the diversity of Rajasthan’s heritage. The house’s CCA lawns have been transformed into a colorful Haat Bazaar where a number of Rajasthani artisans display a variety of products – jewelry, clothing, artwork, decorative items, shoes, and more.

When we visited the bazaar on Wednesday afternoon, we met Ramkanya Suthar from Bassi village in Chittorgarh who is interested in Kavad art – a unique 400 year old art form that combines carpentry, painting and narration.

Suthar showed us a handcrafted Kavad Box – it’s a device that has mythological tales painted on it and can be used as a mobile storytelling medium. She mentioned, “400 years ago, the bhats [narrators] would take this Kavad and tell people stories and entertain them. This profession will soon disappear because people forget our culture. We thought we should do something to keep our culture alive.”

However, this time-consuming art form has few takers in metros like Delhi. “We brought a few pieces to sell. People have very few ideas about this art and its importance. The response has been lukewarm,” she shared.

Another artisan from Jaipur named Babita Mahawar is present at the bazaar and showcases products made from jute. “All of our products are natural, eco-friendly and sustainable. People love it because these products contribute to a plastic-free world,” she shared.

Apart from the bazaar, the venue also hosts two art exhibitions – “Sama” curated by Bridge Bharat and “Yuva Sambhav” by the Raza Foundation which showcases the works of 100 young artists. Bibliophiles will also be delighted as the Hauz Khas-based literary organization Kunzum has organized a book party at the site. Here, one can listen to eminent authors talk about their works.

We caught up with Patparganj resident Seema Banerjee at the event, who concluded, “Some of the things here are really amazing. Discovering my country in different ways is a pleasure.”

CHECK IT OUT

  • WHAT: Rajasthan Utsav

  • WHEN: ends today; 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  • WHERE: Bikaner House, India Gate

HIGHLIGHTS TO WATCH

  • WHAT: Book Party: Authors Neelesh Kulkarni and Deepti Priya Mehrotra

  • WHEN: 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

  • WHAT: Instrumental music by Chandrima Mazumdar

  • WHEN: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

  • WHAT: Folk music by Amrish Mishra

  • WHEN: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

  • WHAT: Sama: Community Art Exhibition

  • WHEN: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.


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