Art & Culture Current Affairs 2017

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International Conference on Dara Shikoh to be held

The international conference on “Dara Shikoh: Reclaiming Spiritual Legacy of India” will be held on April 27 and 28. The conference will be organised by the Indian Council Of Cultural Relations (ICCR). The conference will see the participation of eminent scholars from the US, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and India. The objective of the conference is to highlight Dara Shikoh’s contributions to bring about spiritual homogenisation of Hinduism and Islam and his initiatives in building a cohesive social and cultural edifice in India.

Dara Sikoh

Dara Sikoh was an intellectual, wise and a paragon of harmonious coexistence of various religions. He loved Muslims, Hindus, Sufis and Sikhs all alike. Dara Shikoh dedicated himself to create a bridge of Hindu-Muslim Unity and was so learned that translated 50 Upanishads from Sanskrit to Persian for the Muslim Scholars. This work is called Sirr-i-Akbar, the great mystery. Through his research, he reached a conclusion that a common spiritual basis existed between Hinduism and Islam. He wrote that a great deal of Quranic wisdom existed in Upanishads. He also documented the Quranic terms and their Sanskrit equivalents from Upanishads. He was invited to lay the foundation of the Golden Temple of Amritsar and he befriended with 7thGuru of Sikhs Guru Har Rai.

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January 12: National Youth Day  

The National Youth Day is observed every year on 12 January to mark the birth anniversary of social reformer, philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda.

Observance of the day seeks to propagate the philosophy and the ideals of Swami Vivekananda for which he lived and worked.  It will also help and act as a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth.

Several functions are being organised across the country to mark the occasion. To celebrate this day, the 21st National Youth Festival was held in Rohtak, Haryana. The theme this Festival was ‘Youth for Digital India’.

About Swami Vivekananda

  • Swami Vivekananda was born as Narendranath Dutta on 12 January 1863 and died on 4 July 1902. He and was chief disciple of the 19th century saint Ramakrishna Paramhamsa.
  • He was one of the most prominent figures of India who introduced Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the “Western” World.
  • He is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century.
  • He is also considered as the major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India.
  • He is best known for his speech which began, “Sisters and brothers of America …,” at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893 in which he introduced Hinduism.
  • This speech was considered as one of his most significant contributions to the world and was a breakdown of the ancient philosophy of Hindusim, aided with logic and impeccable scientific insight.

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6,117 Kuchipudi dancers set new Guinness World Record

As many as 6,117 Kuchipudi dancers set a new Guinness World Record by performing together in a single event in Vijayawada district of Andhra Pradesh.

The Guinness World Record adjudicated for the 12-minute “Jayamu Jayamu” item as the ‘Largest Kuchipudi dance’ performance.

Key Facts
  • Kuchipudi dancers from various age groups (as young as 5 to more than 60 years) from across the world, including from US, UAE, UK, Russia, Hong Kong and Mauritius took part in performance.
  • The record event was organised by SiliconAndhra, a cultural non-profit organisation in association with the Andhra Pradesh Government at IGMC Stadium.
  • ‘Jayamu Jayamu’ was choreographed by the legendary Vempati China Satyam and it was chosen for the record attempt ‘Mahabrinda Natyam’.
  • The ‘Mahabrinda Natyam’ was part of the 5th International Kuchipudi Dance Convention hosted by the Andhra Pradesh Government’s Department of Language and Culture.

About Kuchipudi dance

  • Kuchipudi is one of the ten major Indian classical dances. It originated in a village of Krishna district in modern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It derives its name from this village.
  • It is a dance-drama performance art, with its roots in the ancient Hindu Sanskrit text of Natya Shastra.
  • Like all major classical dances of India, it was also developed as a religious art linked to traveling bards, temples and spiritual beliefs.
  • The Kuchipudi style was conceived by Siddhendra Yogi, a talented Vaishnava poet of 17th century.
  • It begins with an invocation to Lord Ganesha followed by nritta (non-narrative and abstract dancing); shabdam (narrative dancing) and natya.
  • The dance is accompanied by song which is typically Carnatic music. The singer is accompanied by musical instruments like mridangam, violin, flute and tambura.
  • Like other classical dances, Kuchipudi also comprises pure dance, mime and histrionics but it is the use of speech that distinguishes Kuchipudi’s presentation as dance drama.

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