Inetrnational Centre of the Roerichs


Women's Day at the Roerich Estate


The bright colors of paintings and radiant smiles of women filled the Roerich Museum Estate in Naggar on March 8 with light and joy. Women's Day at the Roerich International Memorial Trust was marked by the opening of painting exhibition by Indian artists of “Insight Group” curated by Sikandar Jangra (Delhi) and a musical program prepared by the Maa Agni Jwala Janchetna Mahila Mandal women's association from Garopa village (Naggar).

The traditional ribbon was solemnly cut by Ms. Ram Pyari, Vice-President of the Women's Association, and Larisa Surgina, Russian curator of the IRMT and an employee of ICR (Moscow). The celebration opened with the lighting of an oil lamp in the IRMT Exhibition Hall, welcoming addresses and congratulatory speeches. Larisa Surgina told the guests that the Roerichs attached an extremely important significance to women in the development of mankind. Nicholas and Helena Roerichs spoke about the equality of female and male principles being one of the basic laws of the Universe and emphasized the high role of woman as a Mother - not only of the family, but as a Mother and Nurturer of peoples' consciousness.

Amarjeet Anand highlighted the growing role of women in the society and said that the government was extending all possible support to girls and women. In today's society, women hold leadership positions, serve in the army and police, and become famous artists. On behalf of the staff of the Roerich Trust, Larisa Surgina and Amarjeet Anand congratulated the audience on Women's Day and expressed their gratitude to Delhi artists Sikandar Jangra and Manish Kumar Varma for the wonderful exhibition, where twenty artists from different parts of India presented about forty of their paintings. It's important to note that most of these artists are women!

Women's images depicted in the paintings aroused admiration of everyone. Following the traditions of all times and peoples, the artists tried to touch the eternal mystery of the female soul with their art. Portraits and light symbolic figures framed with flowers, philosophical images seem alive and spiritualized.

The female theme was organically complemented by light watercolor landscapes and semi-abstract views of city streets with sharp-angled roofs of houses - when they were illuminated by the sun that looked into the Exhibition Hall, they suddenly became fabulous and gained depth and mystery.

The figures of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made of fiberglass in bas-relief, very lively and expressive, and other works aroused the interest of the audience.

Inspired by the creativity of the artists, the guests of the festival happily joined the program. Young Bhumika spoke passionately about the extraordinary energy of women, which enables them to engage in any activity - at home and in the garden, at school and in the hospital, in the government and in aviation. Women earn money and sometimes support their husbands - but they also paint and embroider, dance and sing.

After Bhumika's spunky performance, the members of Maa Agni Jwala Janchetna Mahila Mandal sang a melodious song dedicated to their home state. The women sang that our Himachal is very beautiful and every house has been granted joy and happiness by the gods. Its blooming gardens will never cease to fragrance and its beauty will never end. Wear bangles with bells on your feet and dance and you will feel the smell of the flowers, feel the beauty of the mountains, and we will be happy together in our Himachal! The long melody of the song came from the depths of centuries, and the band members added their own, modern words.

Anju, a member of the women's group, sang a sad song about a young man who passed away prematurely. He is mourned by remembering his entire life, as everyone loved and deeply respected him and will remember him always.

And other participants of the festival sang their favorite songs. Maltu Devi sang an old Himachal song. It told of a young man who meets his sweetheart on the bank of a deep river. He marvels at her beauty and promises, after drinking the cold river water that will give him strength, to go and get a wedding jewelry for his beloved - and then, sings the young man, we'll eat rice with you from the same plate, and you'll smile, and my heart will sing and dance for you. And you will wear a festive patu (traditional dress of Himachal women) and we will dance nati together.

With a circular nati, the favorite dance of Kullu Valley, the Women's Day celebration ended, filling hearts and the world around us with the energies of love and harmony.

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