Cultural Current Affairs - 2019

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President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates Namaste Russia festival in Moscow

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Namaste Russia, a festival of Indian culture in Moscow during the last leg of his tour in Russia.

Namaste Russia will be six month long festival i.e. form May to November 2015. The festival seeks to enthrall the Russian audience with cultural events from India.

The festival is being hosted under the patronage of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. Russian State Concert Company SODRUZHESTVO and Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre at the Embassy of India in Moscow are the organisers of the festival.

As part of the inauguration of this festival, Kathak dance performance was given by a team of dancers choreographed by Padma Bhushan Kumudini Lakhia.

This festival seeks to enhance and boost cultural bonds that build solid bridges of friendship and understanding between peoples of both countries.

The festival will be toured in various regions in Russia that will help people living in different regions of Russia to deepen their engagement with contemporary and classical Indian Culture. As part of this festival, an exhibition of Indian painting and sculpture will be also organized.

Nepal earthquake damages world’s oldest Buddhist shrine Swayambhunath Stupa

Nepal’s devastating 7.9-magnitude earthquake on April 25 has partially damaged Swayambhunath Stupa located in Kathmandu which is believed to be the world’s oldest Buddhist shrine.

During this earthquake several other monuments situated in the vicinity of the 2,000 year-old Lichchhavi-era Buddhist shrine have been damaged but the main stupa has remained intact during the earthquake.

Swayambhunath Stupa is one of the main Buddhist shrine and most visited tourist sites in Nepal. The stupa is believed to have originated at a time when Kathmandu was inhabited by a deity called Manjushri. It was drained out a big lake by cutting the Chobar hill situated in southern Kathmandu thousands of years ago.

Three other Buddhist monasteries were also damaged including Jyoti Kirti Bihar, Karmapa Bihar, Maha Bihar, Pratapur, Shantipur, Anantapur and Manjushree temple.

The earthquake also has threatened the existence of one of the 7 UNESCO-listed world heritage sites of Kathmandu.

Famous Hindu shrine Pashupati and House of Living Goddess Kumari in Kathmandu has remained unharmed in the earthquake.

However, 300 year-old Kashtha Mandap temple situated in the heart of Kathmandu city and 200 year-old Dharahara tower are among the important heritage sites which were damaged by the earthquake.