On March 14, The Russian Centre of Science and Culture hosted a Friendship Evening dedicated to the Tamil and Punjabi New Year. The event was organized by the well-known organization “Developers India” together with the Rossotrudnichestvo representative office in Chennai. It was attended by Mr. Mikhail Gorbatov, Deputy Head of mission Rossotrudnichestvo in India, Ms. C. Khemka, President and Mr. H. Singh, Founder-Secretary of Developers India, Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, Mrs. Padma Venkataraman, Legendry Social Activist and President of Women’s Indian Association, Mr. Mukund Padmanabhan, Editor, “The Hindu”, as well as representatives of various religious faiths, public organizations and associations.
The program started with the prayer for peace and harmony, in memory of the victims of wars and cataclysms.
The speakers stressed on the importance of the events dedicated to the most influential part of the international relations - friendship, mutual trust between the people and on cultural exchange. Mr. Mikhail Gorbatov, Director of the RCSC, in his address said that India, like Russia, is strong with its ethnic diversity. And in our countries dialogue and a policy of peace between representatives of different cultures and religions is always maintained. Recently, young Indian Muslims protested near the Consulate General of the Russian Federation. In the meeting with the leaders of this protest, it has became clear that the young people were provoked by falsified information from the Internet, as it is accepted now as fake news. Unfortunately, incorrect information is a source of the constant conflicts around the world. All participants agreed that it is necessary to prevent the dissemination of inaccurate information to the general public.
The event first of all was dedicated to the diversity of cultures and in particular, to the forthcoming celebration of the traditional Indian New Year.
Tamil and Punjabi New Year appear in vernal equinox and generally fall on April 13 or 14 (Gregorian calendar). This is the first day of traditional calendar and public holiday in Tamil Nadu, Punajab and Kerala. The arrival of Tamil New Year also marks the beginning of Mango season and blossom time of Neem tree (Azadirachta indica). Mango leaves and Neem flowers are used to decorate houses. The day is considered to be a very auspicious time for new beginnings, committing rituals, family get-togethers and celebrations.
The official part was followed by the cultural program in which traditional Punjabi dances were performed.
Until now, amazing dances of Punjabi farmers - Bhangra and Giddha have survived. They are executed directly on meadows and fields amidst the tall grass. This is a surprisingly vivid show! Dance movements symbolize daily actions of farmers - sowing, plowing, harvesting, and also express joy and delight.
Famous dance "bhangra" was performed by Punjabi men.
The program ended in a warm and friendly atmosphere.