Parul Sharma

NEW DELHI: To acquaint people with the history of large-scale movement of Indians to far-off lands and the artistic expressions and achievements of the Indian diaspora, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) here is organising a five-day programme beginning January 5.

Aptly titled "Origins: Creative Tracks of the Indian Diaspora", it will include exhibitions, performances, lecture-demonstrations, film shows and seminars to assess the influence of Indian belief systems, cultural and institutional practices on the mores and customs of adopted lands.

The programme has been conceived as part of the ongoing efforts of IGNCA to recognise, document, disseminate and promote the larger cultural ethos of the Indian diaspora.

The programme looks at the movement of Indian people, their resource management, sustenance and self-governance strategies. It aims to record the diaspora's literary, linguistic and artistic achievements from an ethno anthropological and historical perspective.

People from all over the world are expected to participate in the event.

An exhibition of images, artefacts and installations will be mounted during the programme showcasing the migration of Indians as indentured labour and their struggles for retaining their cultural values in a foreign land.

`Oral History Archive'

Another highlight of the programme will be an "Oral History Archive". It will record stories related to the victories, failures and travails of Indian families and communities abroad.

This audio-visual archive will trace the evolution of their social, cultural and political thought in literature, cinema, art, music, philosophy, religion and rituals generated in new contexts.

There will also be a film festival presenting a selection of feature and documentary films from the diaspora, including presentations by the gypsies from Balkans who trace their ancestry to India.

Apart from some classical dance performances, there will be illustrated lectures on "Indians in Wets Indies Cricket" and "Hindus in Surinam and the Netherlands" by the diaspora members during the programme that ends on January 9.