The Consulate General of India in New York, The Culture Tree and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) launched the special activities and interactive programming on Monday that aim to celebrate the diversity of India and its people across the dance, music, literature, puppetry, theater, food and art, The Culture Tree said in a statement.
“We are extremely excited to bring a celebration about India to all children and their families in New York. We are committed to celebrating India’s freedom, culture and achievements over all these years,” said Consul General Randhir Jaiswal at the launch of [email protected] in New York, a global celebration commemorating the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.
He praised the partnership with the Children’s Museum and The Culture Tree to “celebrate India in this pivotal year”.
Anu Sehgal, Founder and President of The Culture Tree, which offers South Asian-themed courses and programs, said that through these events, “we can provide cross-cultural exposure that can help educate individuals informed, open-minded and respectful, while offering ways in which children and families in the diaspora can connect with and celebrate their heritage.”
Emphasizing that children learn about themselves by learning about others, Director of Public Programs and Curator of Contemporary Art at CMOM, David Rios, said: “Programs like ‘India at 75’ and our many other celebrations provide wonderful opportunities for families to share their cultural practices and learn about those enjoyed by their friends and neighbors.”
The various activities, which will run until April 24, include fabric prints and textile design in India’s traditional symbols, colors and fabrics, eco-friendly architecture, art creation inspired by painting Warli using pencils, markers and chalk with a guest artist. Kavita Rajput shares tips for making art inspired by Warli painting, storytelling and puppet shows.
The week-long activities also include a performance and dance workshop “The Tree Hugger”, which will use classical Indian dance to tell the true story of the legendary Amrita Devi, who together with her three daughters made the ultimate sacrifice in 1730 to protect the trees in their community.
“Their sacrifice moved their village and later the whole country, inspiring the environmental movement called CHIPKO,” the statement read.
Thresh Dance’s Aditi Dhruv will perform to the script written by author Mona Sehgal.
In the activity called ‘Drum Making’, participants will be able to build their own set of drums, inspired by the Indian percussion instrument known as the tabla, to create playful rhythms and percussion. Participants will also be able to explore Indian classical music through tabla, sitar, teen taal and other cultural instruments.
In “Story Time with Anu Sehgal”, the head of The Culture Tree will share some of her favorite children’s books, as attendees can explore Indian language, art and culture through the works of authors and of leading Indian illustrators.
The puppet show “The Colors of Krishna’s Love” will inform about the festival of colours, Holi, through an interactive show with dance, drama, puppets and songs.
Through his book ‘Always Anjali’, acclaimed author Sheetal Sheth will tell the story of Anjali, who gets her dream bike on her birthday but is unable to find a license plate that matches her name, which upsets her and wants to change her Name.
The book explores how Anjali learns to celebrate who she is and carry her name with pride.
The Culture Tree offers South Asian-themed educational and cultural programs that enrich the lives of children and their families and foster a deeper connection with their roots and the world around them using language, art, puppet shows, dance, food and vacations to provide an immersive experience.
Established in 1973, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan offers imaginative and enriching exhibits and programs.