Second edition of ‘Madurai Vizha' inaugurated at Tamukkam Grounds
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam Government is attaching a lot of importance to preserving folk arts and is showcasing them during all the State Government's tourism-related functions, Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa said here on Friday.
He was addressing the inaugural function of the second edition of ‘Madurai Vizha,' a three-day event hosted at Tamukkam Ground here from Friday to Sunday by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Madurai Zone.
Despite different Tamil dialects spoken across the State, he said that the Tamil spoken in Madurai has been acknowledged as of the highest quality. Though various modern forms of self-defence were emerging, the ancient Tamil martial arts continued to captivate the people.
He also noted with pride that the event was showcasing ancient Tamil sports such as ‘Uri.'
Lauding the effort taken to preserve the culture and history of the Temple City, Mr. Rajan Chellappa said that it showcased Tamil Nadu as it existed a hundred years back.
Speaking earlier, Inspector General of Police (south zone) Rajesh Das said that scientific development in the last two decades has come as a shock to culture. No law and order could be maintained in a place where culture was forgotten and did not exist with value systems having been eroded. Such a point has become relevant even in Britain as it witnessed riots a few decades back.
This event, which focuses on the cultural and historical significance of Madurai, is supported by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC). A mascot for the Temple City –‘Madurai Meena, the travelling doll' - was also unveiled during the occasion.
With the objective of promoting the culture and heritage of Madurai across the globe, graphic designer Gaurie Gupta has come up with the idea of a mascot, which is a hand-painted wooden doll representing a typical 10-year-old Madurai girl. “If Barbie can take the world by storm, so can Madurai Meena,” she said, adding that its journey can be tracked in the website http://www.maduraitourism.info/.
Uma Kannan, Chairperson of Madurai Vizha 2012, said that westernisation and modernisation was important but not at the cost of values and culture. Through this event, CII hoped to link traditional artisans with the new market and prevent their art from getting extinct. Rural folk activities have to be preserved as they can be a great source of revenue by attracting foreign tourists.
CII Madurai Zone chairman Shyam Prakash Gupta said that while India rode the way to growth, the people must hold on to the country's culture and values to retain their health and happiness. Madurai Vizha was being held with that objective.
The CII was conducting the event with the objective of making it an asset for tourism, which could bring growth and spread prosperity in the region.
G. Vasudevan, Convenor - Tourism Panel, CII Madurai Zone, said that many artistes and practitioners of traditional arts were finding it difficult to make ends meet with the present generation almost forgetting their culture, heritage and history.
Madurai was one of the few cities in the world with a continuous living history of over 2,000 years.
Many foreign tourists have been invited for the event, Dr. Vasudevan said, adding that many visitors from other countries wanted to experience different cultures. N. Krishnamoorthy, Vice Chairman, CII Madurai Zone, spoke.