1.Hornbill Festival 2018
- The Hornbill Festival is a celebration held every year from 1 – 10 December, in Kohima, Nagaland.
- The first festival was held in the year 2000.
- The festival is named after the Indian hornbill, the large and colourful forest bird which is displayed in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes.
- Organized by the Nagaland State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments, the Festival showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof.
- Festival highlights include the traditional Naga Morungs exhibition and the sale of arts and crafts, food stalls, herbal medicine stalls, flower shows and sales, cultural medley – songs and dances, fashion shows etc.
About Great Indian Hornbill
- The great hornbill (Buceros bicornis) also known as the great Indian hornbill or great pied hornbill, is one of the larger members of the hornbill family.
- The great hornbill is long-lived, living for nearly 50 years in captivity.
- It is predominantly fruit eating, but is an opportunist and preys on small mammals, reptiles and birds.
- Its impressive size and colour have made it important in many tribal cultures and rituals.
- IUCN status: Vulnerable (uplisted from Near Threatened in 2018). It is also listed in Appendix I of CITES.
2.UNESCO lists wrestling, reggae and raiho-shin rituals under “intangible heritage”
- amaican reggae, Georgian wrestling and Japanese rituals are among the six new elements added by UN cultural agency UNESCO to its list of “intangible heritage” for the world to treasure.
- From the border between Asia and Europe, in Georgia, it added Chidaoba, which combines elements of wrestling, music, dance and special garments.
- The practice encourages a healthy lifestyle and plays an important role in intercultural dialogue, according to UNESCO, which called its code of conduct “chivalric”.
- It noted that occasionally the wrestlers leave the arena with a Georgian folk dance.
- It is a style of popular music with a strongly accented subsidiary beat, originating in Jamaica.
- It became widely known in the 1970s through the work of Bob Marley; its lyrics are much influenced by Rastafarian ideas.
- Reggae contributes to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual.
Japan’s Raiho-shin rituals
- They are used to admonish laziness and teach children good behavior.
- Stemming from folk beliefs that deities visit communities and usher in the new year or season, local people dress in outlandish costumes and visit houses as deities.
- By performing the rituals, local people — notably children — have their identities moulded, develop a sense of affiliation to their community, and strengthen ties among themselves.
3.9 Indian Arts forms which found their way into the UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
#1. Koodiyattam, Sanskrit Theatre, Kerala
- Koodiyattam is the oldest existing classical theatre form in the entire world, having originated much before Kathakali and most other theatrical forms
- Koodiyattam was traditionally a part of the temple rituals
- Traditionally, Koodiyattam is presented by Chakyars, a temple caste of Kerala, and Nangiars, the women of Nambiar caste
#2. Mudiyett: a ritual theatre of Kerala
- A traditional ritual theatre and folk dance drama from Kerala that enacts the mythological tale of a battle between the goddess Kali and the demon Darika
- Mudiyettu is a communal undertaking in which each caste of the village plays a specific role
- Being a community based art form it is the community that has traditionally encouraged and trained the next generation to preserve the art form
#3. The Tradition of Vedic Chanting
The traditional way of reciting the Vedas is called Vedic chanting. Vedas are the primary source of knowledge on Hindu traditions. They comprise of the Hindu philosophy, myth, poetry and dialogue. The Vedas go back to about 3,500 years to the time of the Aryans, though they were written down much later. There are four chief Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva.
#4. Ramlila – the Traditional Performance of the Ramayana
#5. Ramman: religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas
The Ramman is a religious festival manifested in the form of ritual theatre annually held at Saloor Dungra village, in the Painkhanda Valley of Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India.
The Ramman is not replicated or performed at any other site in the Himalayas, being specific to both location and time.
#6. Kalbelia: folk songs and dances of Rajasthan
- Kalbelia is actually an untouchable community from Rajasthan who has always lived on the outskirts of villages and relied on entertaining people for their livelihood
- They are also the community who are traditionally snake charmers
- Most famous for their sensuous form of dancing, also called Kalbelia, which mimics the movements of snakes in some sense
#7. Buddhist chanting of Ladakh
#8. Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur
Performed to mark religious occasions and various stages in the life of the Vaishnava people of the Manipur plains
#9. Traditional brass and copper craft – Thatheras
The craft of the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru constitutes the traditional technique of manufacturing brass and copper utensils in Punjab.
4.17th World Sanskrit Conference in Vancouver, Canada
Aim & Objective
To promote, preserve and practice the Sanskrit language all over the world by the people.
Particulars of the Conference
- The World Sanskrit Conference is being held in various countries across the globe once in every three years and so far it has been held thrice in India.
- The Delhi International Sanskrit Conference of 1972 is considered to be the first World Sanskrit Conference.
- This year more than 500 scholars and delegates from over 40 countries will be participating and exchange their knowledge by presenting papers on various subjects followed by discussions from amongst the members.
- There will be a special panel discussion on over a dozen topics like;
- History & Education of Women in Vedic Literature;
- Sanskrit Buddhist Manuscripts;
- Mimamsa Beyond the Yagasala;
- The Yuktidipika Forging a Place for Sankhya;
- Introducing Bhagavata Purana Commentaries;
- Research on the Gargiyajyotisa.
5.Four-day Ambubachi Mela begins in Guwahati
- Ambubachi Mela, a four-day fair to mark the annual menstruation of the goddess at Kamakhya temple in Guwahati has begun.
- Ambubachi Mela is also an occasion to promote awareness on menstrual hygiene.
- Priests at the temple said doors of the temple were shut for visitors at 4 p.m. to let the goddess go through her period.
About Kamakhya Temple
- Kamakhya, atop Nilachal Hills in Guwahati, is one of 51 shaktipeeths or seat of Shakti followers, each representing a body part of the Sati, Lord Shiva’s companion.
- The temple’s sanctum sanctorum (garbhgriha) houses the yoni — female genital — symbolized by a rock.
6.The Vaishnav monks of Assam’s Majuli island
History of Vaishnavism in Assam
- Vaishnava saint Srimanta Sankardev came to Majuli island in the 15th century
- He along with his disciples, set up 65 sattras—which is said to translate to “unique monasteries”
- Sankardev developed an equally unique way of worship through dance and drama, called the Sattriya Nritya
- The neo-Vaishnavite movement, held together by Sankardev, saw a division into four sub-sects after his passing
About Sattriya Nritya
- It is a dazzling retelling of the Ramayan and Mahabharat—complete with comedy, action, suspense and make-up to match
- Until the 20th century, it was the preserve of male monks but has since brought women into the fold
- In the year 2000, the Sangeet Natak Akademi recognized this dance form as classical
- It is the world’s biggest river island in the Brahmaputra River, Assam
- In 2016 it became the first island to be made a district in India
- The island is formed by the Brahmaputra river in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti, an anabranch of the Brahmaputra, joined by the Subansiri River in the north
- Hidden chars (temporary islands formed by sedimentary deposits) and sandbars are features of this island
7. India to host European Union Film Festival
- Putting a spotlight on the latest European cinema, the European Union Film Festival (EUFF) will premiere in New Delhi on 18th June, 2018 at the Siri Fort Auditorium.
- 24 latest European movies from 23 European countries are to be screened.
- Slovakian Movie Little Harbour to be the opening film for the festival
- The festival will traverse through 11 cities in India including New Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair, Pune, Puducherry, Kolkata, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Thrissur, Hyderabad and Goa from 18th June till 31st
- Celebrating diversity, the EUFF will screen movies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.
- The European Union Film Festival, organized by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, and European Union will be hosted at the Sirifort Auditorium Complex.
8. Modi honours Tibetan institute
Honoring Buddhist Institute
- PM Modi honored a prominent institute of Tibetan studies as part of celebrations to mark Buddha Purnima
- He awarded Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS) with the Vaisakh Samman Prasasti Patra
- This was done at the Buddha Jayanti celebrations organized by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC)
- The government has also initiated the process for the development of the Buddhist circuit
- This will help in developing Buddhist spots in U.P., Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and A.P.
- The Buddhist Circuits are the Places of all High Significance Holy Sites of Buddhism; where Lord Buddha was born, attained Enlightenment, preached the first Sermon and reached Nirvana
9.Over 40 Indian languages, dialects heading to extinction
- More than 40 languages or dialects in India are considered to be endangered
- They are believed to be heading towards extinction as only a few thousand people speak them
Languages in the country
- According to a report of the Census Directorate, there are 22 scheduled languages and 100 non-scheduled languages in the country
- These are spoken by a large number of people — one lakh or more
- There are 42 languages which are spoken by less than 10,000 people
- A list prepared by UNESCO has also mentioned about the 42 languages or dialects in India are endangered and they may be heading towards extinction