‘Meendum-2012' promises to be a mega fete spreading knowledge about arts and crafts

One may think why the hard-to-motivate age group should take to subjects that deal with the past when the present has so much more excitement to offer? But intriguingly enough, the response has been “overwhelming” to Madurai's annual event “Meendum-2012” , a socio-cultural programme for city schools organised by INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), Madurai Chapter.

Says convenor Arvind Kumar Sankar: “This year, the number of registrations is very encouraging. Teaching our children about the country's heritage is important. Appreciating one's heritage is a prerequisite for taking actions to sustain it. This is our attempt to use the rich cultural heritage of our country, State and city as a powerful tool for learning and for preparing our future custodians.”

All the fun and learning is slated for Saturday when over 1,500 middle and high school students drawn from 35 institutions are expected to explore and experiment all art forms.

The idea of ‘Meendum' was first conceived in 2009 as a display of talents of school children showcasing the city's manifold social, cultural and architectural treasures. In the first year, half-a-dozen schools, who were all members of INTACH Heritage Club put up a cultural show.

Last year, the participation doubled and students worked on heritage-specific projects.

This year the participation is up by three-folds as requests poured in from rural schools and also non-Heritage Club members.

The organizers feel, “the opportunity to know one's ancient history and tradition should not be denied to children.”

This time round, the cultural and historical background of the city will be celebrated through 18 workshops and two separate dance and music sessions.

While the star attraction on stage will be two-hour performances by Chennai-based Vidwan Vijay Siva who will introduce the nuances of Carnatic music to the students and a training session in ‘nritta', ‘abhinaya' and ‘hastalakshana' by the Kaladiksha Dance Trust artistes, the buzz of activity would be in the wide spectrum of workshops on painting with coffee powder, vegetable bloc and glass painting, jewellery, paper bag, greeting card and flower making to making photo frames, and learning to make pulli, kanya and neermael kolams and rangolis.

The Madurai Malli and Kattuchungdi that are trademarks of the city will also be taught exclusively during the day long programme. There will be oodles of information available and every participant will find enough scope to learn and understand the relationship between daily life and local economy and traditions.

“Students have the best abilities for learning productively. The aim is to help them discover the importance of maintaining and preserving their culture and traditions not only for self-enhancement but also for use by others.

Such an experience will encourage them to go back to their roots, and respect, appreciate and protect the different forms of heritage. The idea is to inculcate a sense of belonging,” says Arvind Sankar.

The venue for meendum-2012 is SDH Jain Vidyalaya Higher Seconday School, Thirupalai. The programme will be on from 9.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.

Those interested can also register at the venue. Entry fee is Rs.1,500 per school for participating in all the workshops and events. Two students per school will be allowed in each workshop except for the dance and music workshops which maximum of 10 students from every school can attend.

For further details or queries, call 9994499974, 9486148288, 9442103490.

Keywords: INTACHMeendum-2012

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MetroplusJune 28, 2012