Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs


Children and Youth Festival “Russia-India: From Heart to Heart” at the Roerichs Estate

Children and Youth Festival “Russia-India: From Heart to Heart” at the Roerichs Estate


The International Children creativity Festival “Russia-India: From Heart to Heart” has for several years been an integral part of the traditional Russian-Indian Roerich Cultural Festivals at the International Roerich Memorial Trust. So this year, on the opening day of the Roerich Cultural Festival on October 5-th, the joyful voices of children, participants of the Children and Youth creativity Festival “Russia-India: From Heart to Heart” were heard in the Roerichs Estate since early morning.

Its main organizers are a group of volunteers from the Moscow International Center of the Roerichs (ICR) headed by Mrs Tamara Merges and Mr Vasiliy Tkachev. In close cooperation with the IRMT and the ICR, with the active public support, the volunteers held more than 60 children’s painting competitions (7 of which were held in the IRMT and 12 – in different Indian schools) and 75 exhibitions (12 of which were held in India) in Russia and India during the period from 2017 to 2022. During these years about 4500 Russian and 500 Indian young artists have participated in the Festival.

This time the theme of the Children and Youth Festival was the wonderful words: “Beauty and friendship - the Basis of Peace on the Planet.” The exhibition under this title was opened in the morning on October 5 in the Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for children in the IRMT, marking the beginning of a festive day. Mr Pavel Zhuravikhin, the Executive secretary of the International Center of the Roerichs (Moscow) and the guest of honor of the Festival; Mrs Tamara Merges, the head of the ICR volunteer group and coordinator of the Children and Youth Festival “Heart to Heart”; Mr Suresh Kumar, the Indian IRMT Curator; Mrs Larisa Surgina, the Russian IRMT Curator, addressed the children and adults gathered at the exhibition.

The exhibition presented the creative works of the participants of the 5th stage of the Festival – children and youth from thirteen Russian cities. The vivid artworks with interesting themes and diverse techniques reflected the admiration for Nicholas Roerich’s work, love for the motherland, and a deep interest in India, its art and traditions. The works of the students of the St. Petersburg State Academy of Art and Industry named after A. Stieglits, one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Russia, deserve a special mention. Bright, colorful landscapes of India, depicted in the students’ paintings and drawings, illustrations to the poems by Rabindranath Tagore, as well as the exquisite shawls, made on Indian motives in the technique of batik on silk, were a true gem of the exhibition. It should be remarked that both students and teachers of the Academy have been active participants of the festival “Russia-India: From Heart to Heart” since 2017.

The exhibition aroused great interest, a lot of emotions and became an inspiring example for its main visitors – the children of the Kullu Valley.

The Children and Youth Festival continued with the Children Painting Competition organized with the support of the Himachal Pradesh State Museum (Shimla) and its Curator Dr. Hari Chauhan. The contest was held in the Green Theater of IRMT. Children from the Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for Children as well as the group of Russian children, members of the Family Creativity Club “Semicvetik” from Moscow took part in the contest, which was assisted by their adult mentors, the Academy teachers: Anshul Kumar (music and vocal), Mamta Thakur (dance), Anup Kumar (tabla playing) and Sapna Thakur (drawing and painting) as well as Deep Raj, an art teacher in one of the Kullu mountain schools and Russian artist Mira, volunteer of Academy. The Russian artists, who came to the Roerichs Estate as part of the group of ICR volunteers, and artists-teachers from the “Semicvetik” club took an active part in the competition. Indian and Russian volunteer interpreters helped to understand each other.

The friendly, lively atmosphere of the festival was truly in line with the theme of the contest: “Beauty and friendship – the Basis of Peace on the Planet.” Kids were passionately and enthusiastically creating their own worlds on paper – beautiful, happy and joyful, filled with warmth and light, once again showing the world that art and creativity destroy all borders and connect the hearts.

The day ended with the funny games, master classes and treats prepared for Indian children by the Russian guests.

On the same day the Russian-Indian jury of the competition decided on the winners. It was not an easy decision as all the works were painted not only with brushes and paints but with heart and soul as well.

The awarding ceremony for the winners of the children’s art contest took place on October 9, the Nicholas Roerich’s birthday, on the stage of the Green Theater of the IRMT. The certificates and prizes were presented to the winners by H.E. Mr. Denis Alipov, the Russian Ambassador to India and his wife.

At the end of the Roerich Сultural Festival, when the Russian guests were leaving the Roerichs Estate, they took the best paintings of the children from the Kullu Valley with them to Moscow. These works will participate in numerous exhibitions in various places in Russia. The International Children and Youth Festival of Russian-Indian Friendship “Russia-India: From Heart to Heart” continues!

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