Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs

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Since April 28, 2017, the Non-Governmental Museum Named after Nicholas Roerich went defunct with the illegal seizure of its building and territory.

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World Heritage Day in International Roerich Memorial Trust


Once Nicholas Roerich wrote, “Let us keep noble heritage of the past for the glorious future”. These words became the motto for the festival which took place on April 18, which was International Day For Monuments and Sites in the Roerich Himalayan estate. The festival was organized by International Roerich Memorial Trust in cooperation with State Youth Union “Nehru Yuva Kendra” from Kullu city headed by its coordinator Miss Sonia Chandra.

The main events of World Heritage Day in IRMT became the children’s painting and essay writing competition, dedicated to the cultural heritage of Himachal Pradesh; the performance of women music group “Gayatri Mahila Mandal” from Jagatsukh town and theatrical production of the student creative group “Liberation Education Computer Center” from Naggar.

The participants and guests gathered in Green Theatre of IRMT. By tradition the festival was opened with musical prayer to Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge and arts, performed by the teachers of the Helena Roerich Academy of Art for Children Anshul Kumar, Mamta Thakur and Anup Kumar. Indian and Russian curators of IRMT Mr Suresh Kumar and Mrs Larisa Surgina, who works in the Trust on deputation from the ICR (Moscow), addressed to the participants and guests of the festival with greeting words. The speakers reminded all the present of heritage significance of different countries and the necessity of its preservation; of the Banner of Peace, raised over the planet by Nicholas Roerich as a symbol of protection of cultural treasures. On April 15 Roerich Pact proclaiming the unconditional protection of culture in the time of war and peace turned 87 years old. This first international agreement is getting more and more importance and it remains active and open for signing by all countries.

In the children’s painting and essay writing competition there were students from three Naggar schools: Grooms Public School, Government Senior Secondary School, Sarasvati Vidya Mandir School. The children wrote their compositions in the IRMT conference-hall, and they made their drawings right over there, on the open ground of Green Theatre.

While the young participants were busy with creating activities, the other guests had an opportunity to have a look at the Roerichs estate – this preserved heritage of a great Russian family is in truth considered to be the national treasure of India and the priceless part of the world cultural heritage.

The guests’ attention was drawn by the memorial stones (sati stones) of Rajas and Ranis of the old kingdom of Kulluta. Earlier they were located near the Castle – the former residence of Naggar Rajas. In the beginning of the 2000s the memorial stones were transferred to be safely kept to the Roerichs estate. The Indian curator Mr Suresh Kumar and Mr Ramesh Chandra spoke about their historical and artistic details.

The performance of the women musical group “Gayatri Mahila Mandal” became a wonderful musical gift for the guests of the festival. The ladies of Jagatsukh town, dressed in bright traditional woman’s costumes, performed old folk songs and dances of Kullu Valley as well as folk round dance “nati” loved by all. Due to such creative folk groups and “Nehru Yuva Kendra” and other social institutions supporting them, with the cooperation with the state government and district officials, old folk singing, dancing and handicraft traditions in Kullu Valley are being kept and restored.

The performance of the student creative group “Liberation Education Computer Center” was dedicated to the movement of Indian girls and women for their rights. The declaration of women’s equal rights with men by the state and society in all aspects of life is a necessary part of culture in any country and in any nation and a necessary condition for the further evolution of the mankind.

At the end of the festival the results of the contests were made. In the children’s painting competition there were the followings winners:

1 – SamarthyaThakur (Grooms Public School)

2 – ShreyaVerma (Sarasvati Vidya Mandir School)

3 – Heman Sharma (Grooms Public School)

4 (Consolaton) – Prakriti Acharya (Sarasvati Vidya Mandir School)

The winners of the essay writings competition were:

1 – Kanika Vaidya (Grooms Public School)

2 – Angel (Government Senior Secondary School)

3 – Sanvi Thakur (Grooms Public School)

4 (Consolation) – Alisha (Government Senior Secondary School)

The Russian-Indian staff of International Roerich Memorial Trust with all their heart congratulates the winners and expresses the gratitude to all the participants and guests of the festival, dedicated to World Heritage Day.

In conclusion let us quote some passages from students’ essays:

“Culture Heritage is the backbone of every nation around the world.” (Kanika Vaidya).

“We have to respect our ancestors’ beliefs by preserving our past. By constant modernization of our technology we are starting to forget our past. We have to preserve our past because there is no future without the past” (Angel).

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