"India – Russia – The Roerichs" Festival in the Himalayas

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 19:02

As part of the annual festival "India – Russia – the Roerichs", the Himalayan Kullu valley (Himachal Pradesh) in northern India hosted festivities dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries as well as the 25th anniversary of the International Roerich Memorial Trust (the IMTR).
The festival was inaugurated by Senior Counsellor of the Russian Embassy in India Mr Sergey Karmalito, Deputy Head of the Kullu District administration Mr Rajesh Sharma, President of the Forum of Indian Photographers and Artists (FIPA) Mr Vimal Mehta, Russian and Indian IMTR curators Mrs Larisa Surgina and Mr Ramesh Chander.
The representative of the Russian diplomatic mission read out the welcome address by H.E. Mr Nikolay Kudashev, Ambassador-designate of Russia to India, to the organizers and participants of the festival and noted that for a quarter of a century the memorial complex-museum in the Roerichs' estate had become one of the brightest sights of Himachal Pradesh region. Mr Karmalito pointed out that this was the place, where not only connoisseurs of the scientific, philosophical and artistic heritage of an outstanding family seek to come. Every year the museum attracts 100 thousand visitors and tourists from various countries. He emphasized that the IMTR is considered one of the most important projects of Russian-Indian humanitarian cooperation and both countries would like to see it turning into a world-class cultural and educational center.
Various commemorative events were the gems of the celebrations, such as the inauguration of the art exhibition "The Roerich family – the bridge of friendship between the Russian and Indian peoples" (jointly with FIPA and the Russian Centre of Science and Culture), the photo exhibition "IMTR – the center of friendship and cooperation". The Roerichs’ estate hosted several master-classes by Russian and Indian artists, the fair of products made by the Kullu valley artisans, a traditional painting competition among the Kullu valley schoolchildren at the Green Theater.
Amongst the festivities, there was an inauguration of the recreated chemical laboratory at the Urusvati Institute of Himalayan Studies, where the Roerichs once conducted their studies. As Mrs Larisa Surgina noted, the IMTR staff managed to reconstruct in detail its layout with original scientific instruments and equipment used by Nikolay Roerich and his son Yuri.
During the festival an academic seminar "The Roerich heritage in the modern world" took place, with participation of art historians, philosophers and political experts from Russia and India as well as demonstration of documentary "The Call of Cosmic Evolution" dedicated to the philosophical research of the Roerichs.
Pupils of the Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for Children staged a concert for the guests, who came from various regions of India and Russia (including Krasnodar and the Crimea), as well as Belarus and Estonia. A dance performed by Indian children to the song "Kalinka-Malinka" and accompanied by the young artists, singing in Russian, won warm applause from the audience. There was also an award ceremony for the winners of the "Kullu – the Valley of Gods" children's painting competition. The works of its participants will be displayed in Russia across various Roerichs organizations.
Mr Sergey Karmalito, the head of the Lahul Roerich Society Mr Tsering Dorje and the representative of the Estonian Roerich Society Mr Sergey Yakovlev attended the inauguration of the renovated house-studio of Nikolay Roerich near the town of Keilong in the Lahul and Spiti Valley, where together with his family he created picturesque works in summertime.
The festivities on the slopes of the Himalayas received coverage by Russian and Indian news agencies.

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