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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The festival of Russian-Indian Friendship in the Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for Children


On October 16, 2022 the festival of Russian-Indian friendship was organized by the volunteers of the International Center of the Roerichs (ICR, Moscow) within the framework of the International Festival of Children’s and Youth Creativity “Russia – India: from Heart to Heart” in the Helena Roerich Academy of Arts for Children of the International Roerich Memorial Trust.

All the children and adults gathered in the Academy auditorium. Colorful Indian, traditional Russian and even Kazakh costumes created a bright extravaganza of colors, and the joy and smiles on the faces of all participants caused a feeling of celebration.

Mrs Larisa Surgina, the Russian curator of the Roerich Trust, a co-worker of the ICR, and Mr Suresh Kumar Nadda, the Indian curator of the Trust on behalf of the ICR staff thanked the group of the ICR-IRMT volunteers from Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan led by Mrs Tamara Merges and Mr Vasily Tkachev for their initiative, sincere interest and great work they contribute into preparing and holding the children and youth festival “Russia – India: from Heart to Heart”. The curators of the IRMT expressed their heartfelt greetings and gratitude to all the numerous participants and friends of the festival from Russia and other countries. They also thanked the Academy teaching team headed by Mr Anshul Kumar, music and vocal teacher, for their active participation in preparing and conducting the festival.

Mrs Tamara Merges, the Festival coordinator, in her welcome speech noted that during five years of the Festival there have been strong friendly ties between the children from Kullu Valley in India and children from many regions of Russia. It happened due to the contests and exhibitions of children’s drawings which took part in many cities of Russia. Russian children like the creativity of the children from Kullu valley. Their bright, picturesque works arouse an interest of Russian young artists in the remote Himalayas, the mysterious India, its culture and traditions.

Mrs Merges expressed her gratitude to the authorities of the IRMT and the ICR, as well as to the Russian and Indian curators of the Roerich Trust for their cooperation and support of the Festival, whose idea originated here in the Himalayas in 2017.

The Russian guests showed the students of the Academy cheerful and colorful video greetings prepared by the children from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Siberia especially for this holiday, as well as the photographs depicting the brightest moments of the Festival over the years.

In a solemn atmosphere the awarding ceremony was held for the participants and winners of the recent children’s drawing contest, which took place on October 5 this year in the IRMT as part of the October Roerich Festival of Culture.

With great excitement and interest the Academy students took part in the creative master-classes and captivating games prepared for them traditionally by Russian friends with the support of Academy teachers. The children painted wooden figures of bears brought from Siberia with great enthusiasm, made amulets of bright colored woolen threads and designed postcards for Russian children, drawing their native Himalayas on them. Young children made amazing flowers and fairy birds from the unusual “airy” plasticine.

The creative and playful part of the program ended with the traditional round dance of friendship with songs in Russian.

And then dear distinguished guests handed to the students of the Academy presents brought specially for them from Russia. Many of them were handmade by Russian children. The elementary school students of the Rabindranath Tagore School (Saint-Petersburg) handed cards with the inscription “To my friend in Kullu” to the junior pupils of the Academy. The young artists from Siberia prepared bright drawings for their Indian friends. From Moscow children, including pupils of school № 1550, very young students of the Academy received bright bookmarks and soft toys; and for the older children the members of the family club “Semitsvetik” made presents in the form of original statues of animals with dried Russian flowers and herbs “hidden” inside them.

As a return greeting from the Himalayas, the children and teachers from the Helena Roerich Academy of Arts were happy to send to Russia the presents they made in the master classes in the Academy.

The Festival of Russian-Indian Friendship for Children and Youth continues, and we want to emphasize that it is no accident that it was born in the memorial Estate of the Roerich family - a Russian family, all members of which deeply loved India and were convinced that art and creativity unites hearts and brings love, joy and light so necessary for our lives.

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