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Ramayana, Footprints in South Asian Culture & Heritage by Anita Bose

Ramayana, Footprints in South Asian Culture & Heritage

Anita Bose

Book Review

During her stay in Thailand Anita Bose was surprised to see that the Indian epic of Ramayana was an integral part of the Thai culture. A country with 95% Buddhist population studying of Ramayana is a compulsory part of school education in Thailand. The Buddhist King of Thailand still takes the title of Rama.

ramayana-cover-ENGLISH-FRONT-300x394

Book Cover (Source: Bee Books)

During her five years stay in Bangkok, Thailand Anita volunteered as a guide at the National Museum of Bangkok, which housed a Ramayana gallery.

During her stint as a volunteer guide in the museum a month long Ramayana Festival in Bangkok changed Anita’s concept of Ramayana. The international festival had participants from eight countries, including India.

This was an eye opener for Anita and motivated her to travel to several other south Asian countries to retrace the Ramayana legacy.

Her travels and research resulted in the book titled Ramayana, Footprints in South Asian Culture and Heritage. The book covers extensive info on Ramayana practice in south east Asian countries of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Loas, Cambodia and Myanmar.

In Thailand Ramayana is known as Ramakein and is performed in the form of Khon Dance (Also see: Khon Dance Mask) or shadow puppetry. The inner walls of the Grand Palace in Bangkok depicts the entire Ramayana in 178 panels stretching over a mile. In Indonesia Ramayana is known as Kakawin and is performed by Muslim dancers, on full-moon nights, with the backdrop of the massive Prambanan Temple.

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Patachitra of Odisha and Jagannath Culture by Anita Bose, Book Review

Patachitra of Odisha and Jagannath Culture by Anita Bose

Book Review

In every corner of India there exists numerous indigenous art forms hidden under sands of time. Search for them as desperately as a mother would be looking for her lost child. Don’t stop until you find them and showcase them for the world to see.

Swami Vivekananda to Sister Nivedita

Patachitra

Patachitra of Odisha and Jagannath Culture by Anita Bose

The heritage village of Raghurajpur, located near the pilgrimage of Puri, is one such numerous art centres of the country. Raghurajpur is famous for the ancient art of Patachitra.

The book Patachitra of Odisha and Jagannath Culture by Anita Bose explores the story behind the patachitras of Raghurajpur. The book is the culmination of Anita’s two decades of nurturing her creative pursuits.

Anita’s book not only deals with the details of patachitra but also provides the details of its connection with the Jagannath Culture.

The book starts with the origin of the name of heritage village of Raghurajpur and then moves on to the representation of Jagannath Culture through different forms of patachitras.

The book elaborates the chitrakar (artist) community of Raghurajpur providing the details of the artist hierarchy, which is solely based on the skill of the artist. The author goes into further details providing a correlation between the surname and the type of art work done by them. The details of the patachitra painting, which replaces the deities of the Puri Jaganath Temple for the 15 day sabbatical break every year, have been expressed in every possible details.

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