Art & Culture Current Affairs - 2019

Latest Art & Culture Current Affairs 2019 for UPSC Exams, Bank Exams, Civil Services, SSC and other Competitive Exams. Latest developments in Art & Culture Current 2018-19 all important national updates.

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India International Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong from Nov 14 to 17

India International Cherry Blossom festival is scheduled to be held from November 14 to 17 in Shillong, Meghalaya. This festival is the world’s only autumn cherry blossom festival. The festival is organised by Government of Meghalaya’s Forest & Environment Department as well as by the Institute of Bioresources & Sustainable Development (IBSD) in collaboration with Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

Aim

The aim of the festival is to celebrate the unique autumn flowering of Himalayan Cherry Blossoms. The Cherry Blossom tree flowers only for a short period in a year. The festival will showcase full pink and white cherry blossoms found all along the roadside of the famous Ward Lake. Alongside, the festival will also showcase the region’s food, wine and crafts in addition with several cultural events.

Strategic Importance – Japan’s Participation

The main highlight of the festival will be the exposition of Japanese cultural events and cuisine. Embassy of Japan is a strategic partner for the festival.  There will be several cultural events showcasing Japanese cultural and cuisine. The festival in a way will act as a channel to deepen and strengthen the connections with the Government of Japan.

The tradition of planting cherry blossoms, also called Sakura, was first begun by Japan. In fact, Japan has been celebrating the Sakura Festival from the 3rd century and it continues till date.

Economic Importance

The cherry blossom festivals are being celebrated by around 28 countries across the world including India. The other countries that celebrate this festival include Holland, United States of America, and South Korea. This festival generates huge employment opportunities and generates a lot of revenue as it attracts lakhs of visitors from across the world. Last year, the festival boosted the local economy of Meghalaya by 300%. The festival is also likely to promote sustainable tourism in the northeast.

Meghalaya-Biodiversity Hub

Meghalaya is the home to 5,538 species of fauna and about 3,128 species of flowering plants. It accounts for 18% of India’s total floral wealth. Also, Meghalaya is the home to the country’s only two species of true apes.

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Ladakh restoration project wins 2018 UNESCO Asia-Pacific award for Cultural Heritage conservation

The restoration of an aristocratic house project from partial ruin state in Ladakh undertaken by LAMO (Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation) Center has won 2018 UNESCO Asia-Pacific award for Cultural Heritage conservation in Award of Distinction category. LAMO is public charitable trust established to articulate an alternative vision for the arts and media in Ladakh.

Key Facts

The restored structure is strategically located at the foot of Leh palace, contributes to continuity of historic townscape of 17th century.  Its recovery establishes precedent for conserving non-monumental urban fabric of Leh Old Town. Under restoration project, LAMO had used salvaged and local building materials and indigenous construction techniques and skillfully introduced modern amenities to assure its ongoing use.

Other Category awardees

  • Award of Excellence: It was awarded to restoration project of early 20th-century Shijo-cho Ofune-hoko Float Machiya in Japan. It celebrates Kyoto culture by safeguarding city’s endangered wooden townhouse typology as well as iconic annual Gion Festival.
  • Award of Distinction: LAMO Center, Ladakh, India
  • Award of Merit: 5 Martin Place, Sydney (Australia);  Aijing Zhuang, Fujian (China);  Commercial Bank of Honjo Warehouse, Saitama (Japan).
  • Honourable Mention: Hengdaohezi Town, Heilongjiang (China),  Rajabai Clock Tower & University of Mumbai Library Building, Mumbai (India), Ruttonsee Muljee Jetha Fountain, Mumbai (India).
  • New Design in Heritage Contexts: Kaomai Estate 1955, Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Harts Mill, Port Adelaide, (Australia).

UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation

It was established in 2000. It recognizes efforts of private individuals and organizations that have successfully conserved structures and buildings of heritage value in the region. It aims to encourage other property owners to undertake conservation projects within their communities, either independently or by seeking PPP (public-private partnerships).

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