Sunday, October 5, 2014

Durga Puja

As mentioned in one of my previous posts, we had the chance in the last couple of days to enjoy Durga Puja celebrations. The festival of Durga is an annual Hindu festival in South Asia that celebrates worship of the Hindu goddess Durga. It refers to all the six days observed as Mahalaya, Shashthi, Maha Saptami, Maha Ashtami, Maha Nabami and Vijayadashami. The dates of Durga Puja celebrations are set according to the traditional Hindu calendar and the fortnight corresponding to the festival is called Devi Paksha, "Fortnight of the Goddess". 
Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, Durga Puja festival symbolises the victory of Good over Evil.
Durga Puja also includes the worship of Shiva, who is Durga's consort (husband) in addition to Lakshmi, Saraswati with Ganesha and Kartikeya, who are considered to be Durga's children.Worship of mother nature is done, through nine types of plant (called "Kala Bou"), including a plantain (banana) tree, which represent nine divine forms of Goddess Durga.Modern traditions have come to include the display of decorated pandals and artistically depicted sculptures (murti) of Durga.
At the end of six days, the sculpture is taken for immersion in a procession amid loud chants and drumbeats to the river or other water body. It is cast in the waters symbolic of the departure of the deity to her home in the Himalayas. 
Durga Puja commemorates the annual visit of the Goddess with Her children to Her parents' home, leaving finally on the Dashami to be re-united with Shiva.

#ibmcsc india23
The gate of the pandal in Aditoyapur (most expensive in Jamshedpur)

Peacock (the national animal of India besides the tiger I guess :) )

This temple was built only for Durga Puja and will be dismantled afterwards....:(

The inside of the temple

One of the dance performances we saw during pujas

Mark, Yves and me with Durga and her children

Ganesha (god of intellect&wisdom - mouse), Lakhsmi (goddess of wealth,love, prosperity - owl), Durga, Saraswati (goddess of art&knowledge - swan), Kartikeya (god of war - peacock)

Ladies wearing saari-s

All of us dressed up in traditional Indian style for bogh (lunch) on Thursday

Kalamandir team differently :)

My favourite little dancers from Gujarat state

Pandal is being dismantled and some of us were lucky enough to get the metal decoration pieces

Durga and family on her way to the river

United colors of IBM

Immersion on the riverbank

Michelle, Darren and myself waiting for the immersion ceremony of 'our' Durga


Yves and myself dancing in Hanuman mask
Do you know these crazy people?

Dancing&having fun

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

At work

For those who wonder whether I am just having fun here or actually working on the project, I am sharing a few pictures taken at work at Kalamandir.

#ibmcsc india23

First milestone: Amadubi rural tourism site is on google maps now!

Amitava greets google maps achievement with applause 

Discussing the importance of branding with the larger group last Friday

Friday, September 26, 2014

Last weekend (20-21 Sept)

It is quite challenging to find the time and energy to keep our blogs up-to-date and not let days turn into weeks without posting...and I am not the best at it I have to admit. :)
But I thought before we get into the weekend, I should definitely post about last weekend. 

Saturday was a "Tata-day": in the morning we visited the Center of Excellence where we heard about the long history of  the TATA family, their values passed on from generation to generation and the vision of the company's founder Jamsetji Tata. 

In the afternoon we were invited to visit Tata Steel plant where we all had to wear safety equipment and we were not allowed to take pictures inside the plant. :( 
Sunday was more relaxing, in the morning we were invited by Ricky Surie (from Kalamandir) to Beldih Golf Course for breakfast, then he drove us around the city showing us some of the most important places in Jamshedpur.
The afternoon was a rainy one but some of us (the adventurous ones :)) still visited the zoo in Jubilee Park, followed by a laser show, both of which remain almost totally undocumented due to a) the weather conditions b) visitors are not supposed to take pictures of the animals c) difficulty to take acceptable pictures with my camera (and my skills :)) at dusk/in the dark.

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Sunrise from our hotel with the silhouette of Tata Steel plant

Ladies' tuk-tuk - our favourite means of transportation

Center of Excellence

The making of steel: quarry, prepare, charge, reduce, refine, cast, shape, trim, pack - sure I understood every single word of it:)

Magic picture

Some rest in between in Jubilee Park

The plant is huge
Casual Sunday breakfast at Beldih Golf Course
Preparation for the upcoming Durga Puja festival (more info will follow later)
In Loyola School's court
It's amazing how much effort women make at constructions
The turtle and us
Dino :)
Ready for the tour!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our project: Kalamandir and visit to Amadubi village

One of the things I am learning here is leveraging :) so instead of trying to summarize Kalamandir's mission and vision with my own words at this late hour :), you can read read a short summary about it below:
'Kalamandir is an organization that believes in preserving and restoring tribal art and culture. Kalamandir is engaged in nurturing a sense of aesthetics about tribal art among individuals, communities, organizations, and social groups. Kalamandir seeks to promote greater interaction and understanding amongst urban societies of the tribal traditions, their age-old customs and rituals, their faiths and values, their songs and dances, murals and martial arts, their love for nature and zest for life, their ballads and folk lore, in order to re-discover the wealth and the national relevance of the country’s tribal traditions and rich heritage. Kalamandir believes that rural and tribal populations are in the danger of losing their identities and cultures due to industrialisation and urbanisation. Kalamandir therefore engages in different ways to protect and empower rural and tribal communities.'

After some valuable discussions with the Kalamandir team, last Wednesday, we had the opportunity to actually visit Amadubi village to get a better understanding of the scope of our project:
'Amadubi Kalagram, an art village, was developed by the Jharkhand Tourism Department in association with the Village Tourism Development Committee (VTDC) and Kalamandi-The Celluloid Chapter Art Foundation to attract tourists and provide environmentally friendly and sustainable livelihood opportunities to the local people. The purpose was to develop Jharkhand as a tourist destination and promote the concept of sustainable rural tourism to safeguard and disseminate tribal and folk culture and tradition. Amadubi in Dalbhumgarh is located about 65 km from Jamshedpur and was inaugurated in Sept 2013 to mark World Tourism day. Kalamandir now wants to promote rural tourism to new sites, namely, Chiteswar, Janumdih, Pinderbera, Ghoranegi.'

Although very tiring, it was a great day, we could not only enjoy the calmness of the area but also the warm welcome and hospitality of the villagers as well as a truly interesting dance performance at the end of the day. 

On the way to Amadubi

Tata trucks on national highway nr. 33

Abandoned British airbase used in World War II.
With lovely kids

Welcome at the entrance

At the entrance of Amadubi village

In the museum


Future marketing pic.

Rural relaxing landscape

The 'white giants' :) also joined the dancers at the end of their performance