maanantai 15. syyskuuta 2008

Art knows no boundaries....

During my first week in Chennai I have already had the opportunity to experience two beautiful cultural events. On my first Monday here I was invited by our business friend Manan to attend a story telling event "And then they came to India". The topic was the history of the Parsis, a peculiar small community with less than 100 000 members; originally from Persia who came to India after they were persecuted because of their zarathustrian religion. There was music, dance and recitation entwined together, illustrating in a very touching way the migration of the Parsis. And again, this very event showed that the world is a village: the lady behind the coreography is Mallika Sharaband, a famous Tamil Nadu dancer whom I met in April in Finland in connection with Sitra's India Programme. And I was touched to see, that the music was composed partly by Eero Hämeenniemi, whom I also have had the pleasure to meet in Finland!
Tonite I was invited to an art gallery, partly to celebrate the Keralite Onam festivity (Kerala is the neighbouring state which is why many traditions together with migration have also reached the state of Tamil Nadu) and to inaugurate the exhibition of a famous Colcata artist. The charming hostess was Sarla, whom I met via friends in August: with her I immediately shared friendship and did enjoy enourmously the opportunity to meet new people.
These two experiences show that art and culture build amazing bridges that can offer to a stranges a deep and eyes-opening insight to a new world.
On my way home tonite I felt less stranger, confident that during the coming months I would discover my piece of India!

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