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Villages around Auroville

Auroville Village Action Group

In the Tamil language 'Mohanam' is a word for 'beauty', or 'attraction'


A cultural centre in Sanjeevinagar


Mohanam purpose and vision

Mohanam Activities

Marutham community awareness center, Alankuppam

 

Mohanam Sound Crew Auroville on Facebook (2012)

 

ARCHIVE:

Update Feb '05:
Mohanam Kindergarten

Update Jan. '02

see also:

Mohanam website

 

 

Purpose and Vision

 

Mohanam Cultural Centre began in 2001 under the Auroville Village Action Trust in a rural village, which is located in the Kaluveli/Auroville Bioregion in coastal Tamil Nadu, South India .

The community centre, established in one of the last traditional houses of the village, is offering creative arts classes on the weekends for school going children. It also has a creche/kindergarten, evening tuition, and is actively uncovering remnants of original performing and craft skills in the local villages surrounding the International Community Project of Auroville. The purpose of these activities is to keep alive this intangible heritage through youthful interest, classes, studies and special programs.

The aim of Mohanam is to provide the young generation of the villages with an opportunity for extracurricular activities, which help them to find identity and connection to their own original culture, which faces tremendous change in the globalization process.

 

 

Promotion of diversity

The center has identified some of the last living exponents, elders and resource people of the communities in performing and martial arts, festival customs and crafts. The idea is to document their skills and techniques and expose selected youth to workshops and classes of the ancient practices of five chosen genres: Kummi, Kollattam, Tapattam, Silambam and Koothu.

This raises communal awareness and revitalizes the endangered, intangible heritage through offering the young generation opportunities to learn and get established in these hardly practiced performing skills, which are still in high demand at traditional festivals and with international visitors.

The Tamil Heritage Festival will draw necessary government and international attention and provide a large-scale dissemination of the project work.

Mohanam's activities reflect the richness, diversity and legend of Tamil culture along with other contemporary cultures constantly evolving and offering new possibilities.

 

Dance and Music

 

The folk dances offered by Mohanam are Kummi,  Karagaatam and Kolaattam.
Kummi is an ancient Tamil folk dance of the villages of Tamil Nadu.

Karagaattam is the most popular folk dance of Tamil Nadu. Traditionally, the villagers perform this folk dance in praise of the rain goddess “Mari Amman”.

Kolaattam, which is danced by a team of ten or twelve participants, is a dance form in which two sticks are used for producing rhythmic sounds with movement and music. Each dancer sings songs, moves and beats the two sticks. The dance performances are conducted in open space. The participants wear clothes of uniform colors, mainly dhoties tied up, anklets on the feet and colored ribbons around their heads.

Children and youth from the villages around Auroville benefit these programs. It is offered free for them.

 

 

Martial Arts

 

Silambam is a traditional stick martial art which has been in existence for over 5000 years, even before the arrival of the Indo-Aryans. Silambam is said to be the oldest in the world since the use of the stick was the first weapon used in pre-historic times. It received royal patronage from all the Tamil Kings beginning from the Sangam era.

Mohanam offers classes for the village youth in this martial art form in an attempt to revive it and pass it on to the next generations.

 

Theatre

Therukoothu , the Theatre art of Tamilnadu, is usually conducted during village festivals where three or four streets meet; in open air, the place being lit by gas lights. Only men take part; the female roles also played by them. The performance consists of story telling, dialogue-rendering, songs and dance, all performed by the artistes.

The stories are taken from Hindu epics and also from local folklore. The play starts in the late evening and gets over only during the small hours of the nights. The performance is so captivating that the audience are spell-bound unaware of the longs hours. Therukoothu is more popular in the northern districts of Tamilnadu.

Interested youths have been trained in this original Tamil theatre practice and seasonally Mohanam conducts theatre classes inviting experts in Therukoothu.

 

 

Education

In February 2004 Mohanam started a Kinder garden project called Mohanam Creche with a strong emphasis on a creative and child-centered approach, taking the experience of modern child psychology and new pedagogical methods. Continuing to stay in touch with the best of the traditional ways of loving care inner guidance is what makes the difference in the Mohanam kinder garden in contrast to the government preschool places that are available.

The aim is to give the children a firm base to be able to develop the necessary faculties for an independent and progress-oriented life. The Kindergarten-project is in its fourth year with more than 45 children and 3 teachers. The project offers the children lots of opportunities to be creative and learn in a joyful way through handicrafts, dancing, singing, painting, clay works and sports.


Women Empowerment

 

Empowering women economically, making them self dependent, fulfilling their needs without depending on the male breadwinners of their families is the main objective for the formation of Mohanam women's group. Known as Mohanam Malargal House, it was started on 13th February 2006 with 24 women from Sanjeevi Nagar and surrounding villages.

The women are trained in skills like tailoring, embroidery and fabric painting. Besides, they participate in workshops through which they learn leadership skills and self defense. Kolam, the traditional art form of Tamil culture and landscape, with their orderly and often highly symmetrical designs has been brought to the fabrics by Mohanam through a project “Kolam Arts”.

Today some of the village women who have been offered training in hand embroidery make beautiful Kolam patterns on fabrics which are made into bags, pouches, purses and belts. Kolam is a local art, performed daily by women decorating their doorsteps with chalk drawn traditional geometric mazes. This project is now providing employment for a small group of village women and continues to grow.

 

 

Community Development

 

Mohanam has been involved in community welfare and development work in Sanjeevi Nagar and Alankuppam, villages near Auroville. Mohanam's youth and the youth from the villages join hands in the developmental works like environment safety, health and hygiene.

With the help of donors, a drinking water project worth Rs. 6 lakhs was inaugurated recently in Sanjeevi Nagar village.

 

 

Mohanam Performing Arts Youth Group

 

Mohanam firmly believes that young people play a significant role in addressing social issues and that a space should be provided for self-expression among them. We see art and cultural expression as a key medium for promoting the positive impact youth have on the world.

We involve young people, provide them with a space where their energy and creativity can be channeled in a background that promotes the brotherhood and solidarity between them and at the same time, make them conscious of the problems that are a human responsibility, through inviting them to take part in an activity to discover our culture and traditions.

 

The group's programs

 

The group through their arts and culture activities not only preserves the original culture but also raises awareness about social issues like HIV/AIDS, health, labor and employment, indigenous rights, sustainable development and agriculture, peace building, human rights, youth culture, empowerment and environment education.

Our performing youth group consists of young boys and girls from the rural village backgrounds. Though they may be from under-privileged sections of the community and without much education, they possess knowledge and skill in their native arts and culture which makes them outstanding from other youths.

The group is led by a Tamil Aurovillian Balasundaram, who is a cultural activist and a youth leader. The boys' wing of the group performs original Tamil folk dances Kolattam and Thappattam. The group has been trained well in the Tamil Martial art Silambam. They also perform the traditional Tamil folk theatre art Therukoothu .

As some of them are working in Svaram Musical Research Center , they also get an exposure in musical improvisations with newly developed musical instruments.

The girls' wing performs the classical dance, Bharatnatyam and the folk dances Karagaattam and Kummi.

Seasonally, the group gives dance presentations in Auroville and other parts of the country. The group has also started participating and performing cultural and theatre festivals in other parts of the country.

 

Youth Learning Garden (Thoppu Veedu)

 

The Learning Centre is in Thoppu Veedu, a quiet coconut grove and a learning center for the youngsters in Sanjeevi Nagar village near Auroville. Here they practice and rehearse various performing arts.

It has a Music House, a traditional hut which is a platform for the youngsters to play and learn various sound and percussion instruments. It is also a musical laboratory wherein they experiment with different sounds for their dance and theater performances.

The learning garden offers the youth a deeper connection to nature and its cycles and helps to create environmental awareness and responsibility.

 

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Cultural Festivals in the Village

 

Mohanam conducts cultural events and festivals throughout the year. The Centre organizes events to celebrate special occasions like Pongal, Republic day, Independence Day, Children's day, Teachers day, Women's day, Earth day, Christmas and Vijayadasami.

During Pongal, the special festival of the Tamil people, the Centre conducts cultural and traditional events for the villagers around Auroville. Traditional games like Kabaddi, Ilavatta Kal Thookuthal and Nondi aattam are conducted along with contemporary sports like slow bicycle race and slow motorbike race.

Village women get a chance to show their artistic talents through the traditional Tamil art “Kolam”. Mohanam has been conducting Kolam festivals for the last four years in Sanjeevi Nagar village.

Mohanam hopes that these events will stimulate similar happenings in other surrounding villages and inspire the youth not to give up their traditional games. In future, Mohanam Cultural Centre will be introducing more traditional games and events with the collaboration of the villagers.

 

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Yatra - The 5 Lands

 

Mohanam Performing Arts Youth Group and other children from the villages acted in a children's movie called “Yatra - The five lands”. It is a beautiful and fantasy-like film that transcends through the five lands known in the Tamil legends as kurinji, mullai,

marutham, neythal, and paalai (peasant fields, mountains, forests, desert and sea). It is a movie with a message for children. Directed by Srinivas, this movie will be screened in many schools throughout Tamil Nadu and overseas.

Mohanam's activities reflect the richness, diversity and legend of Tamil culture along with other contemporary cultures constantly evolving and offering new possibilities.

 

 

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Arangetram

 

On June 28, the Mohanam Cultural Centre senior girls' students staged their Bharathanatyam performance in Sri Aurobindo Auditorium at Bharat Nivas, Auroville on the eve of their graduation day.

The students Anila, Kavithanjali, Sandhiya and Suryaprabha were awarded by Mrs Shanthi Babu H.O.D of Bharathiyar Palkalai Koodam in Pondicherry for their five years of learning in the classical dance with their master Smt S.Sumathi and the director of Ezhillar Kalai Koodam Puducherry.

Thiru R.Anbazhagan, the drawing Teacher of Mohanam Cultural Center welcomed the chief guest and the audience. Chief guest Kalaimamani Mrs. Shanthi Babu presided over the function along with the other chief guests Tmt R.Meenakshi from Tamil Heritage Centre, Bharat Nivas Auroville, Tmt Bhavana of Auroville Village Action Group and Mr.Aurelio, the advisor of Mohanam and Executive of Svaram, Auroville.

 

Albinca

Albinca, from Slovenia gave dance classes for a period of one month between July and August. The classes were organized for the Mohanam boys and girls every Saturday between 11 am and 12.30 pm. There were about 20 students that benefited from this class.

 

 

Night school activities

Mohanam Cultural Centre conducts a night school at its centre in Sanjeevi Nagar. It has students from 1st standard to 9th standard. These students come to the Centre and do their homework with the help of the Mohanam students, Manikandan, Gomath, Vijayabaskar, Anandbaskar and Rajesekar who are doing their graduation and secondary school at Puducherry. Manikandan is doing B.Sc III year in Chemistry, Gomath is also doing B.Sc III year in Chemistry, Vijayabaskar has completed his B.Com graduation at a private college in Puducherry, Anandhabaskar is doing his II year in Bio-Chemistry in Puducherry, and Rajesekar is doing 12th standard in Puducherry.

There are about 35 students who are receiving private tuition at this centre for the classes that are held between 6:00 and 8:15 pm.

 

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Women's Group Activities

 

One of our internship trainee, Vanessa who is from Germany gave workshops for the women on health and hygiene for three Sundays at Mohanam Cultural Centre. About 20 women participated in this workshop.

 

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Painting Exhibition

 

Painting exhibition' is one of the dreams of the Mohanam Team. Recently our Mohanam students Murugan, Mohanmoorthy, Anandabaskar, Sivakumar, Rajasekar and Jeevarathinam exhibited their art work at Kala Kendra's 'Gallery Art Square Circle at Bharat Nivas in Auroville, from the 8th to the 14 th of Dec 2008.

The exhibition was inaugurated with a music festival on the 8th of December at 5 pm at Kala Kendra' Gallery Art Square Circle'. Our chief guest Luise lit the lamp to symbolize the inauguration of the exhibition. Our advisory board member, Aurelio and the drawing Master Anbazhagan were invited as chief guests to inaugurate the exhibition. The audience was delighted with the performance by the Mohanam Sound Crew. Anbazhagan also participated in the opening ceremony.

The Exhibition ended on the 14th of December 2008 with the closing ceremony by the Mohanam Sound Crew. The Exhibition was extra special, since a renowned artist from Pondicherry was present.

 

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Summer Camp 2008

 

Since the beginning, Mohanam Cultural Centre has been conducting summer camps every year between the months of April and May. This year it was a special occasion because at the end of the camp the new cultural centre opened in the Temple in the Alankuppam village. The center was named as “Marutham”.

There were about 150 students that participated in this camp. Various art classes were offered such as drawing, painting and crayons, the traditional martial arts “Silambam”, folk dance “Kolattam”, classical dance “Bharathanatyam”, yoga for health, and music classes for the children between the ages of 5 and 18 years old. The children were from the villages of Alangkuppam, Annai Nagar, Pudhu Nagar, Aaparam Pattu and Thuruvai.

The camp was organized for about a week and a half. The children eagerly participated in the camp and benefited from the various activities that were organized and were able to establish relationships with their local peers.

A day before the end of the camp, Mohanam organized a fun trip to the Auroville beach. Most of the students took part in the trip and enjoyed the evening by playing various games.

On the last day of camp a special performance was arranged. Most of the students from the camp participated and danced for their parents and the village people.

Certificates were issued for the participants. From seeing their amazing talents on the stage, the village headmen offered the use of the Alankuppam temple for cultural activities in order to make these precious arts more available for the children.

 

 

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Summer Camp 2009

 

Mohanam is trying to provide to young generation of the villages the opportunity for extracurricular activities, which help them to find identity and connection to their own original culture.

The purpose of the camp is to educate and promote the importance of tradition and cultural values to the children and youth of Sanjeevi Nagar, Alankuppam and other villages. Over 200 children attended this camp, and all of them came from surrounding villages like (Rayaputhupakkam, Kottakkarai, Allankuppam, Thuruvai and Sanjeevinagar).

In year 2009 summer camp was held at the end of the April and in five consecutive days children were exploring dance, drama, drawing sculpture, different games, they were making masks at craft workshop, Jivan was singing with them, and learnt them few songs, and on last day they participate in the lesson for environmental awareness, and finish the day and the camp with performance for their friends, parents and other villagers.

In summer camp children from the villages and around Auroville bioregion, which other wise don't have an easy access to valuable art and cultural classes, have been doing many things in a joyful and creatively inspiring environment of Mohanam Cultural Center with their teachers and other personal. Each summer camp does bring new children to regular activities on weekends and weekdays, and we can see progress in many different areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Temple Program at Irumbai

 

It was a blessing that the Mohanam Cultural Centre was able to perform at Irumbai Sivan Temple on the special occasion of the Full moon.

On the 21st of June, Mohanam Performing Youth Group performed a 20-minute program at Sivan Temple in Irumbai. Aurelio, the advisor of Mohanam Cultural Centre presided over the performing youth group.

In the midst of the huge crowd of devotees the musical sound of the youth group started with the gong and bell sound from the east side of the temple. As the whirl and vibrations of the sounds moved out of the temple, people started to recognize the music of the performance. The youth group carried out the procession up to the water pool just opposite of the second gate of the east side of the temple. Then candles were lit and floated on the water in the pool. On the stage at the pool, drums were already placed under the tree and were waiting to be beat by the youth.

Once the young boys started to beat the drums, the whole crowd was enthralled. The sounds of the drums echoed out for 5 to 10 minutes before the boys walked towards the entrance of the temple. Each one carried a drum and started their magic of sound with dance. In the beginning, some of the youth in the crowd became embarrassed and blushed during the performance, because this type of dance with the drums is also performed in the death ceremony in the villages of Tamil Nadu, which is usually not respected. But once the dance with the drums took its momentum every one became spellbound. The energy and the concentration in the performance of the dance, with different styles of movements, by holding the drums in hand, captured the eyes and hearts of the crowd. This typical extraordinary performance is called “Thappattam” which means a dance with drums.

It can be said that the Thappattam performance lured every one's ears and hearts with its beats. As a result, it was an extraordinary performance

 

 

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Dynamized water set up for Sanjeevi Nagar

May 5, 2008

On 5, May 2008 Mohanam Cultural Centre inaugurated a Dynamized Water Tank, along with the Auroville Water Harvest at Sanjeevi Nagar village.

The Villages of Alankuppam, Sanjeevi Nagar, Pudu Kuppam, Anai Nagar and the other surrounding villages of Alankuppam and Sanjeevi Nagar people face serious kidney and other health problems due to the amalgamated chemicals in the water that they consume everyday.

In order to put these problems to an end, Mohanam Cultural Centre has approached a donor from Holland . They provided money to help start and set up a Purified Water System for the Sanjeevi Nagar people. Mohanam Cultural Centre along with the help of Water Harvest decided to take up the task in setting up the Dynamized Water Tank for the Sanjeevi Nagar people. The Dynamized Water plant was successfully installed and tested for its function. A day was called for its inauguration at Sanjeevi Nagar. Shajahan, the minister of Puducherry, inaugurated the start of the function of the project. Many village headmen and important people participated in the inauguration. Mohanam Cultural Centre organized a cultural dance and music performance on the eve of the inauguration.

 

 

 

 

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MARUTHAM

 

The Marutham Community Awareness Centre is very unique in that it is the first temple to be used as a community center in a bioregion village. In the past, the temple was only used one week of the year plus one day during the week. The rest of the time it was vacant, but the children were drawn to it and would play outside.

Balu, one of the founders of the Mohanam Cultural Centre, who also grew up in this village, would drive by the temple everyday. He had a strong personal call to talk with the head village men about using it as a community awareness centre. Balu envisioned a place where local village children could come together to learn about their own Culture, Heritage, Art, Health and Environmental issues in a sacred place, the Temple of Mariamman the mother goddess. After several months, he was able to talk with the head village men and received permission to use the temple.

As a result, the Community Awareness Centre “Marutham” was born; it is the first branch of Mohanam Cultural Centre in the vicinity of Auroville, which is located in Alankuppam. This temple may have a history behind it but it is not known so far for the younger generation.

Usually Mariamman is referred to as a strong and powerful goddess who cures the diseases caused by the heat in the body. The meaning of Mariamman is explained below:

Mari Amman : “Mari” means Rain and “ Amman ” means Mother. It means the mother who offers rain for the earth.

Learning Activities

At present six classes have been offered for the students in the Marutham Community Awareness Centre. The classes include Silambam, art classes such as drawing, painting, crayon, classical dance Bharta Natyam, folk dance Kolattam, yoga and Thappattam.

 

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Marutham Team

 

The Marutham Community Awareness Centre is supervised by Rajeswari, who is from the same village. She has been actively looking after all the classes and organizes the logistics and activities of the department. It is not so easy for a married woman to spend her time in these kinds of activities particularly on Saturdays and Sundays. Her work should be appreciated in maintaining the space allotted by the village Panchayat to start this centre in their village. Apart from that she also gives art classes for the students. The other team members are:

 

Anandabaskar:

He offers drawing classes for about 15 students from the villages of Alankuppam, Pudupakkam, Thuravi and Apparampattu. Anandabaskar, is one of the Mohanam students who learned how to draw in Mohanam. He is from Sanjeevi Nagar.

 

Anandavelu:

He trains the students in Silambam. At present he has only 5 students. Anandavelu, is a student of Mohanam and he is from Sanjeevi Nagar. His students are from Alankuppam and Annainagar.

Jeeva:

He offers painting classes for 10 students. The students are from Annainagar and Alankuppam. Jeeva was also a student of Mohanam. He has participated in Mohanam art classes and learned from 'Anbhazhagan' a well-known artist from Pondicherry .

Sivakumar: He specializes in crayon work. He teaches 10 students and his students are mainly from Alankuppam and Annai Nagar. He was a student from Mohanam and has participated in 'Anbazhagan' art classes held in Mohanam. He is from the same village, Alankuppam.

Sandhiya:

By her dances and expression she has captivated many audiences, she has now started to give her gifted and fascinating talent in Bharatha Natiyam for the students from Alankuppam, Annai Nagar, Apparampattu and Pudu Nagar. At present she has 10 students in her class.

Suryaprabha:

Last, but not the least, this teacher is very good in Bharatha Natiyam dance and now has emerged as a guru to teach her fellow juniors from Alankuppam, Annai Nagar, Apparampattu and Pudu Nagar. She offers classes for 10 students.

 

Yoga class

 

Komala was giving yoga classes in Marutham Community Awareness Centre for about four months and now she is committing herself for higher studies at the YMCA college in Chennai. So, Marutham is in search for a new guru.

 

There are about 60 students from the surrounding villages of Alankuppam, Pudunagar, Apparampattu, Anni nagar, Thuruvai and Pudupakkam attending these classes. From seeing the interests of the students and their participation, this number may increase

Relationship between Marutham and Mariamman

Temple: It is very interesting to see the relationship between Marutham and the Mariamman Temple, Mariamman means the mother goddess of Rain, Marutham means fertile land, without each other neither one could exist. So, one should understand that the name chosen for the centre is appropriate. It may have happened in random in choosing the name, but due to the relationship between these two, it is important for the center to have this name.

 

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Marutham - the inhabitant of life: Since Marutham means fertile land, it can be said that this land holds a place for life. Similarly, this centre keeps the temple alive by means of cultural activities. More than 60 students regularly attend the weekend classes on Saturdays and Sundays. There are nine teachers who offer classes for these students. Most of the teachers were the students of Mohanam Cultural Centre. It is said in the Tamil Literature that the knowledge which one gets through learning will be fruitful only when it is passed to the others. It means the knowledge that one learns must be taught to others by themselves, then only they will get the fulfillment of attaining knowledge through learning. The students of Mohanam Cultural Center stand as a great example of this, since they are teaching their knowledge to their younger peers.

 

 

 

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KOLAM

 

About the Kolam

Kolam is the art of creating rice flour or chalk decorations (mandalas) on a sidewalk, doorstep or wall that are drawn outside each household every morning at sunrise and again at sunset by the village women.

Some designs are simple, white, geometric patterns, covering little space, while others are large, elaborate works of art, incorporating many colors and portraying devotional themes. Kolams are both auspicious and symbolic.

Historically it is the belief that the rice-flour which may be eaten by birds and insects symbolize reverence for all life. And, that Deities are deemed to be attracted to a beautiful Kolam and it is considered a signal to Sadhus that they can expect food at a particular house. Some also believe that Kolams protect against the evil eye.

Rice to the Indian is like corn to the Native Americans, a symbol of abundance and prosperity. It is worshipped as Lakshimi herself, the Goddess of wealth and abundance.

During holidays and on festival days, especially Pongal (held in January), the Kolam designs become especially complex, large and gloriously inspired. They also can be colorful because the women use colored rice-flour. Such Kolams sometimes taking an entire day to complete.

 

 

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Material

 

Historically the designs and patterns were created using rice-flour. Nowadays women are using a commercially sold stone powder. 

The women hold a handful of flour/powder in their right hand and will uniformly drop the flour/powder to make a line through her thumb and pointer (index) finger. In a continuous motion she will move her hand around to make curves or dots. Though the particulars of each tradition vary slightly the emphasis on transcendent beautification remains the same.

 

Daily practice

 

Every morning at sunrise and again at sunset a new Kolam is created in a ceremonial gesture of beauty, gratitude and sacrifice. The daily practice of clearing and washing the entrance of each home or sidewalk and creating a beautiful Kolam for all to see is a like a form of Sadhana (spiritual practice). This practice of Sadhana and ritual of creating the Kolam has been past on from Mother to daughter for thousands of years.

Experiencing the sight of a beautiful Kolam on a daily basis has a profound affect on ones heart. The creation and sharing the beauty of the Kolam outside each threshold is like asking the Goddess Lakshimi to bestow her blessings on all who pass by thus elevating the minds and hearts of humanity.

Lakshimi is the Goddess of auspiciousness, abundance and she manifests beauty. Everything in our visual reality is considered a manifestation of her.

 

 

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Creating the precise yet graceful geometric patterns of the Kolam focuses the mind and brings creativity and meaning into their life.  It is considered a daily meditative yoga for the women that go outside their home and create these beautiful Kolams for all to see.

Lively Kolam was founded by a young illiterate woman (Rajaveni) from a poor family. She is the youngest of five sisters from the Sanjeevi Nagar Village in the State of Tamil Nadu .  In a passionate attempt to understand the rich cultural and traditional heritage of the Kolam in Tamil Nadu she began her research into the history of this wonderful art form that adorns thresholds each morning at sunrise and early evening.

 

What originally began as a research project later became an inspiration to empower the local village women by training them with tailoring and embroidery skills.

The vision of  keeping the tradition alive, empowering the local women so they can  become financially independent therefore improving the quality of their life by providing them with skills and employment opportunities.

As a result  of this vision the Kolam Project was conceived and currently there are  over seven women designing, tailoring and embroidering the Kolam  designs on wall hangings, bags, bed sheets, purses, pillow covers, clothing  and many other products. 

Another benefit of the Kolam Project is the educational aspect from local to global.

Not only has her vision of keeping the tradition alive locally been successful she is now displaying the beautiful and functional pieces in exhibitions and shops around the world. On of these Shops is located in Auroville.

 

 

 

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Auroville BAMBOO RESEARCH INSTITUT

Auroville Bamboo Research Centre was started in 2006 to bring the awarness of the bamboo among the people in the community of Auroville and to the villages around the bio-region of Auroville. It was developed as a center of excellence in bamboo research, training and education as well as promoting, plantation and utilisation.

The community of Auroville was kind enough to allot a land covering approximately four acres in the green belt zone of the city, near the village of Chettikulam .

Already around 200 bamboo saplings, from four different species of bamboo, have been planted with minimum basic infrastructure like bore well, small temporary shed and foundation for overhead water tank, and rain water collection pit.

Since its inception AvBC is striving to create awareness on bamboo by successfully conducting workshops and planting bamboo samplings in Auroville communities. To fulfill these mission, the Auroville Bamboo Research centre conducts workshops and seminars for the students, artisans, farmers, professionals and for the other interested persons in knowing and using bamboos. As Auroville Bamboo Research Centre has a full time professional graduated from NID Bombay, the Auroville Bamboo Research Centre also helps students who wants to do study on Bamboo.

Members of AvBC have also taken part in various seminars and workshops conducted outside both to network and increase their knowledge.

 

Auroville Bamboo Centre is envisaged to be a single center where all activities related to bamboo from cultivation, training, product development, and research can be carried out. Since bamboo is native to tropics, having a long tradition of being an important part in human history, and with its current status being challenged by environmentally unfriendly materials like plastics, a centre specifically dedicated to bamboo is called for. Bamboo still has the potential to cater to a wide variety of mankind's needs from charcoal, to building materials to food to handicrafts. Auroville with its international presence, a healthy history of eco-friendly culture and practices, is the right place to start. With no other institutions in south India dedicated to bamboo; it makes it even more important that AvBC grow strong in this part of the world today.

 

Apart from its awarness program and workshops, the Auroville Bamboo Research Centre also involved in research in bringing up new bamboo products and on finding new methods of protecting the bamboos from the insects that eats bamboo by minimizing the chemical treatment

 

 

Contact: mohanam@auroville.org.in 

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