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Eye On India – The Revival of the Bygones

Colossal in its form, profound in its knowledge and vibrant in its history, India’s culture has enthralled people from all around the world for years. It is the only country that can boast of a thousand languages, traditions and art forms. The tenacity of its cultural prevalence, the prowess of its artistry and the depth of its scriptures have a tenable impact in the modern day world. Yet so little of it has been fully garnered and assimilated.

Growing up, I partook in a plethora of traditional Indian art forms and strongly felt a sense of rejuvenation and a plausible spiritual aura. Having ardently practised the Karnatic classical music for years, I have been made aware of the nuances and the intricacies of every musical note. Every note strikes a subtle yet distinct emotional chord within us. Our bodies react to them, emanating a positive energy that transcends us to a state of zen. Every Indian music and dance form is not just a means of entertainment but a spiritual process. The great Indian classical music is a harmonious blend of tunes with mathematical complexity and precision.

Yoga, yet another form of spiritual cleansing and physical awareness is an art form that has certainly taken the west by storm. Millions of people all over the world have been using it to fight depression and stress. The Yoga mudras are grounded in scientific evidence for stimulating various parts of the brain and actuating a balanced flow of hormones and enzymes.

Various cultural platforms and collaborations have cropped up in the last few years in an attempt to globalize these esoteric art forms and the Eye On India is at the helm of these efforts. From dance performances, literary seminars and theatre festivals to fashion projects, its collaborative initiatives have expanded the reach of these art forms and have effected a harmonious amalgamation of western and Indian traditions.

Eye catching initiatives like the Sufi Gospel Project, the Sari Project and many more that are designed in the spirit of East meets West render a great sense of thriving partnership and cultural assimilation. Global exposure to cultures other than your own is an experimentation of human psyche development and perpetration of intellectual and cultural consciousness in itself.

Great traditions rooted in convoluted scientific and mathematical knowledge have been part of everyday Indian life as unmemorable habitual dealings. The Kolam is one such tradition involving geometrical patterns and incorporating principles of Cymatics that establish the relationship between geometrical patterns and sound vibrations. These specific patterns are capable of inducing vibrations that can have a soothing effect on the mind. I would like to believe that my well-developed visualization skills have something to do with constant exposure to such patterns at an early age. The initiative to introduce the art of Kolam to Chicago fourth graders can only be deemed as an attempt at imparting an old form of knowledge disguised as a local cultural art adaptation.

Internationalization of cultural art forms promotes acceptance and thwarts the negative ramifications of cultural alienation. Multi-cultural communities thrive on mutual respect and acceptance and initiatives by the Eye On India have proved to be major stepping stones in accomplishing that. These initiatives have a broader connotation of fostering cultural liberation and breaking language barriers and social stereotypes.

Tactful juxtaposition of aesthetic differences and cultural distinctions can forge global communities that benefit from reciprocity, adaptability and true liberation. We are headed in the right direction. A bonis ad meliora.

Tags: Arts, Chicago, Culture, Eye On India, History, India & USA