Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

10.10.2013

The 139th Anniversary of Nicholas Roerich in Kullu Valley




On October 9, 2013 the 139th anniversary of Nicholas Roerich, the outstanding son of two great nations, Russia and India, was celebrated in the Roerich Himalayan Estate in Kullu valley. In India they call him - Maharishi – the great wise man. During his lifetime numerous legends about his person were created and his life became a legend for ages to come.

The celebration started with a fire shanti-poodja – a religious ceremony which was held in the place of N. Roerich cremation. Among old deodars and branchy lime trees to the accompaniment of poodjari (a Hinduist priest) the sacred fire flamed up to commemorate the artist and thinker whose name became a part of the world history.

After the end of the poodja ceremony the national flags of India and Russia were hoisted at the area where the Banner of Peace is flying as a sign of deep respect to Nicholas Roerich. Mrs Minakshi Chaudhry, a well-known writer, Mr Vinod K. Dhawan, superintendent of Kullu district police, representatives of Forest Department of Kullu, tourists from India, Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Estonia, Brazil and other countries visited the International Roerichs Memorial Trust on this solemn day.

After the ceremony an exhibition of Vishvanath Nair, a weaver from Kullu, was opened. As a representative of a family of weavers this master can be associated with the true artist. Besides the traditional ornaments of Kullu he weaves on his scarfs and pictures such famous paintings by Nicholas Roerichs as “The Hero's Star”, “The Waterfall Song” displaying bright Himalayan peaks that N. Roerich liked so much. It is not by chance that the exhibition was called “The Colors of Himalayas”. Using a traditional loom in the exhibition hall Vishvanath Nair demonstrates the tourists an ancient weaving art of Kullu valley.

From the exhibition hall guests moved to the open theater stage where students of the Academy of Arts named after Helena Roerich sang solemn anthem dedicated to Sarasvati, the Goddess of Arts. Then some greetings were presented. Speakers emphasized the significance of N. Roerich oeuvre for strengthening cultural links between Russia and India and further evolutionary development of the mankind. According to Mrs Larisa Surgina, the Russian curator of the IRMT, it is the important reason for India to keep memory of the great artist and to preserve his heritage.

The day was also marked with the opening of a new museum exposition prepared by Russian and Indian co-workers of the IRMT in the former bio-chemical laboratory of Urusvati Institute. Systems for ether oils and active substances extraction were assembled from the preserved memorial chemical equipment. It allowed to restore a typical atmosphere of a chemical laboratory during the period of Urusvaty Institute functioning. One of the main directions of the Institute activity was studying of Himalayan plants and possibility of their use in medicine. Undoubtedly a creation of the new exposition is the only beginning of the future museum and scientific work in the IRMT.

The concert by teachers and students of the Children Academy of Arts continued the celebration program. They performed Indian and Russian folk songs and dances of Kullu valley and Rajasthan. The Indian Youth dancing team demonstrated Nati (a traditional dance of Kullu valley). Favorite national melodies, bright costumes and cheerful performance impressed the whole audience.

The celebration in the IRMT ended with screening of the documentary by L. Shaposhnikova “The Call of Cosmic Evolution” for the Russian guests.

 



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