2nd International Conference on Ramlila: A Festival Celebrating Masterpieces of Intangible Heritage of Humanity begins in Delhi

2nd International Conference on Ramlila: A Festival Celebrating Masterpieces of Intangible Heritage of Humanity begins in Delhi 
The “Second International Conference on Ramlila : A Festival Celebrating the Masterpieces of Intangible Heritage of Humanity” organized by IGNCA under Ministry of Culture began in New Delhi last evening. The Seven day long festival is being organized from November 23 – 29, 2015 at IGNCA, Janpath, New Delhi.

The Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism Dr. Mahesh Sharma inaugurated the Conference. Addressing on the occasion, the Minister said that the Ramlila depicts the great ancient Indian culture of brotherhood and family values. If we imbibe these values in to our lives, no bitterness and jealousy will prevail in our families and in the society at large. He said that it is heartening to see the participants from so many countries in this International Conference on Ramlila. The Ramayana pervading across time and space continues to be a source of socio-cultural, religious and spiritual aspirations of the people.

The ‘First International Conference on Ramlila’ was held in Trinidad & Tobago from 12th -14th July, 2013 and was organized by the Natinal Ramleela Council of Trinidad & Tabago and from this platform, the Council requested the IGNCA to host the Second International Conference in India. Conceding to this request, IGNCA is organizing this Seven Day Festival on Ramlila with the following components:-

1.                  International Conference on Ramlila titled Epic Processes: Mobility, Patronage and Aesthetics.

2.                  Cultural Performances: Selected forms of Ramlila performances from across India and Abroad will be showcased.

3.                  Film Shows: As part of the Conference, Films from IGNCA Archives on Ramlila will be shown on specific days.

4.                  Exhibitions: Display from the Archives of Janapada Sampada Division, IGNCA on Ramlila ;   Ramayana in Indian Visual Art : Exhibition from the Archives of Kalanidhi, IGNCA ;  Mithila paintings on Ramayana - From the collections of Manisha Jha and, Ramnagar Ramlila : A Photographic Exhibition by Media Centre, IGNCA.

The festival is also hosting to Arts and Crafts demonstrations from different regions of India, sung traditions of folk and tribal communities, and a food court where ritual foods are available.

Of the varied forms of presentation of the Ramayana text, Ramlila is one of the most popular forms, particularly in Northern India. IGNCA was instrumental in getting the Ramlila tradition of India inscribed. As “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by the UNESCO in 2005.

In 2007, IGNCA initiated a major programme on ‘Living Traditions of Ramkatha and Mahabharata’ and has over the past several years built up an impressive audio - visual archive on these two traditions  among different communities across India. In 2008, it also organized an International Conference ‘Ramkatha-Ankan, Manchan aur Vaachan’ focusing on folk and tribal traditions of Ramkatha at the level of text, performance and visual representations. It may be pointed here that though several conferences at national and international level on this theme have taken place, Ramlila, has only now begun to attract the attention of World Scholarship. In 2014, IGNCA documented the Ramlila of Ramnagar in its entirety.

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