Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

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Since April 28, 2017, the Non-Governmental Museum Named after Nicholas Roerich went defunct with the illegal seizure of its building and territory.

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14.10.2021

147th Birth Anniversary of Nicholas Roerich: Russian-Indian Festival of Culture in the IRMT

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On sunny day of 9th October 2021 Himalayan Roerichs Estate welcomed guests: after two years pause due to coronavirus pandemic a traditional October Russian-Indian Festival of Culture took place in the IRMT. The organizers of the Festival were International Roerich Memorial Trust (Naggar, Himachal Pradesh), International Centre of the Roerichs (Moscow) with support of Kullu District administration (Himachal Pradesh), Russian Embassy in India and Russian and Indian friends and volunteers.

The Chief guests were delegation of the Russian Embassy in India headed by Mikhail Ktitorov, Head of the Cultural Section of the Embassy and Mr. Vikas Shukla, SDM Kullu District.

In accordance with the tradition Nicholas Roerich’s birthday started with hindu Shanti puja at Samadhi place of the Great friend of India, “Maharishi Nicholas Roerich”. The Pandit Acharya Ji, pujari of ancient Krishna Temple conducted the sacred ritual: having offered prayers about peace, tranquility and welfare of the whole world to high blue sky he lit traditional fire and together with the participants laid flowers to the memorial Stone.

National flags of India and Russia were solemnly hoisted as a symbol of the deepest friendship and collaboration uniting our countries as well as the Banner of Peace that was hoisted one day by Nicholas Roerich. The Banner of Peace permanently flies over the Roerich Estate but at the days of special celebrations it is hoisted together with the national flags of two countries as a reminder about the most important things – Peace and Culture.

The sculptural monuments of Nicholas and Helena Roerich were dressed with flower garlands in testimony of respect and affection. These first in India bronze busts of the artist and his wife were unveiled exactly two years ago in October 2019 and since then they, placed in a shadow of ancient deodar, friendly meet everybody who visits the sacred Himalayan Estate.

Larisa Surgina, Russian Curator IRMT working in the Trust on the direction of International Centre of the Roerichs (Moscow) invited the Chief guests of the celebration Mr. Vikas Shukla and Mr. Mikhail Ktitorov to the upper floor of the Roerichs House for an inauguration of the room-veranda with enriched by that day exhibition with new exhibit items: reproductions of paintings “The Banner of Peace”, “Zoroaster”, “Sissu Monastery” by Nicholas Roerich and the Banner of Peace made and presented to the IRMT by Veronika Voronova (Yekaterinburg, Russia). Having been placed in the room in accordance with the archive photographs they enriched the memorial space of the room with new meanings and new colors creating a sense of special completion and gravity.

Two exhibitions were inaugurated at that feast day.

In Modern Art Hall Indian women artists from Art Group “WE” Prof. Sadhna Sangar, Richa Bharti Sharma and Simrit Luthra presented their art.

And in Conference Hall the exhibition of reproductions of Nicholas Roerich’s paintings “The Banners of the East” was prepared with support of International Centre of the Roerichs (Moscow) and the Russian Embassy in India (New Delhi).

The solemn program on the open stage of the Green Theatre of the IRMT started with a song-praying to Indian Goddess Saraswati – protectoress of art and knowledge. Sounds of music and singing played by the teachers of Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for Children enlivened the space that had been in silent too long. The sounds lit up hearts of adults and children with hope for nearest ending of the difficulties dealing with the pandemic and proper reversion to renew and joyful life.

Representatives of Russian-Indian team of the IRMT Larisa Surgina and Amarjeet Anand welcomed all participants of the Festival and invited the honored guests to the stage for traditional lightening ceremony and memorable gifts reception.

Mikhail Ktitorov read over a welcome letter to the address of the Festival from N.R.Kudashev, the Russian Ambassador in India. Also welcome letters for the Festival were sent by International Centre of the Roerichs (Moscow, Russia) and Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan).

A remarkable tradition of the Roerichs Festivals has been a competition of children’s paintings that over last years have become a part of Children-Youth Festival “Russia-India: from Heart to Heart” organized in cooperation with volunteers of the ICR (Moscow). Usually these competitions are held at the territory of the Roerich Estate and gather a lot of children – students of schools of Kullu Valley whose happy faces and voices add special sunny mood to the Estate’s atmosphere. This year the competition was organized in online format and with help of principals and teachers of some schools of Kullu Valley. Firstly children could see a presentation made by the volunteers of the ICR – IRMT T.M.Merges and V.N.Tkachev with a subject “Beauty and Friendship – Basis of Peace on the Planet.” And after discussing the subject with the teachers the children created their paintings at home.

Mikhail Ktitorov and two Indian artists – Sadhna Sangar and Richa Bharti Sharma were invited to the stage for awarding the winners of the children’s paintings competition. Students of LMS School of Kullu, Delhi Public School and Day Star School of Manali and some students of Academy for children under the IRMT became the proud owners of the prizes and memorable gifts. The exhibition of the paintings of all participants of the competition was organized in Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for Children.

Mira Kudriashova, Russian artist, whose exhibition at that festive day was opened just on the territory of Green Theatre IRMT, gifted her painting “Himalayan Holy Mother” to the IRMT.

A musical gift for the participants and guests of the Festival was presented by a team of the Academy teachers: musicians Anshul Kumar and Anup Kumar, a dancing teacher Mamta Thakur and a painter Sapna Thakur with participating of invited Russian and Indian guests. A young singer Selesh Bodh expressively and insightfully rendered a Sufi song. Dinesh Kumar from Rumsu village sang one of ancient songs of Kullu Valley.

The artist Sadhna Sangar rendered a song about time and Russian girls Olga and Kamilla sang a song about love from Russian movie “Gardes-Marines, Ahead!” Mamta Thakur with her young students performed lively Rajasthan dance.

Although the Festival was conducted in limited format it became the real festive day – Roerich’s feast of Culture, peace and good, the feast of Russian-Indian friendship.



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