Feb 21: Celebrate The 2nd Annual South Asian Heritage Day at the ROM

Celebrate The 2nd Annual South Asian Heritage Day at the ROM on Sunday February 21st, 2010
The Sir Christopher Ondaatje Gallery Marks Two Years in the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal with A Full Day Celebration
The Friends of South Asia at the Royal Ontario Museum invite Ontarians to discover the rich and diverse cultures, histories and traditions of South Asia with a full day of events inspired by the Sir Christopher Ondaatje South Asian Gallery’s permanent collection on Sunday, February 21, 2010.
 “People often don’t realize what a hugely diverse region South Asia is. Encompassing Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, and the Maldives, South Asia is home to many distinctly different traditions dating back to 5000 years. What better way to celebrate two years in the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal than to join us and enjoy family themed events that encompass a wide sampling of these cultures,” says Friends of South Asia Chair Neera Chopra.
The gallery is brought to life with dance performances, a multitude of children’s activities, film screenings and musical performances against the backdrop of the ROM’s regular exhibits and attractions including:
          Tibetan youth dances, including the famed Yak Dance, performed by The Canadian Tibetan Association of Ontario Performing Arts Group
          Classical Odissi Dance from India performed by members of the renowned Chitralekha Dance Academy
          Indian Flute Recital by Ajanthie Mathanakaran
          Award winning Pakistani author and storyteller Rukhsana Khan who will share tales from India, Persia and the Middle East along with her own writings
          British author Navjot Kaur, whose first book “A Lion’s Mane” celebrates the many connections we share as global citizens while exploring Sikh Identity
          Special film presentation of Gemini Award winner Cyrus Sundar Singh’s Painted Nation, a look at the vanishing tradition of India’s street art
At 3 pm, The Friends of South Asia are proud to co-present the Canadian Book Launch of esteemed Pakistani poet and artist Sadequain Naqvi’s “Rubiyat Sadequain Naquash, in collaboration with the Sadequain Foundation of California
The late calligrapher and painter was responsible for the renaissance of calligraphic art in Pakistan and introduced the nation to mural art. His dizzying array of large murals can be seen at major galleries and museums around the world. Speakers Salman Ahmad, Ali Adil Khan and Munir Parvez will speak about Sadeqain’s life, and contextualize his art and poetry.
Event Details
2nd Annual South Asian Heritage Day: Sunday, February 21, 2010
11 am to 4 pm
Free with FSA membership, ROM membership and Museum Admission
Purchase tickets online before February 21st, 2010 and save up to 25% on regular rates: www.rom.on.ca/whatson using Promo Code: SAFUN
Adult $18 (regularly $22)
Child $11.50 (regularly $15), Student/Senior $14.00 (regularly $19)
Enjoy a discounted FSA Family membership $169 (regularly $189) if you join before February 21, 2010
Friends of South Asia is a special interest membership group at the Royal Ontario Museum that was created to support the activities of the South Asia Gallery, increase public awareness of its outstanding South Asian collection, and provide high-quality South Asia programming to educate people about the rich history of South Asian arts.

Level 3, Michael Lee-Chin Crystal

This gallery’s approximate 350 objects reflects the ROM’s vast and diverse collections representing the artistic and cultural traditions of South Asia. Nine thematically organized areas present religious objects and sculpture, decorative arts, arms and armour, miniature paintings and textiles spanning over 5,000 years and originating from countries including Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tibet.

In 1978, the CTAO was formed under the approval and guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in an effort to sustain Tibetan culture and heritage while adapting to the Canadian multicultural identity.   The CTAO has an extensive performing arts program, where over 200 children take traditional Tibetan music and dance classes free of charge.
The students will be performing:

Dranyen Shapdro-
A Central Tibetan step dance performed to the Tibetan Lute, or dranyen, where singers sing, dance and play the dranyen simultaneously.
Yak Dance- This famous dance is taken from Tibetan Opera, and depicts the life of a nomadic family.
The Chitralekha Odissi Dance Creations was founded in 1997 by eminent Gurus, Chitralekha, Ellora and Devraj Patnaik and is dedicated to preserving Odissi in its ancient form, through creation, performance, and instruction. The Academy offers specialization in Badya (drumming), Nrutya (dancing), and Sangeeta (singing). 
Odissi is an Indian Classical dance form from the picturesque state of Orissa or Utkal.  This temple dance form originated in the 2nd century B.C and was often depicted in sculpturesque carvings on the stone walls of the temples of Puri.   Having fallen into disrepute by the medieval period, the dance form has seen a revival after the Independence of India and while there can be no such thing as a fully revived Odissi, this ancient dance form can continue to develop through future generations.
The Indian bamboo flute is one of the oldest known musical instruments in the world.  It is an important part of Indian classical music, called the Venu in South India and Bansuri in the North.  In Indian mythology the flute has a special significance as it is the chosen instrument of the Hindu god Krishna, who is often depicted playing it.


The award winning children’s author and storyteller visits over eighty schools a year across North America, with presentations that go from light-hearted fun for primary children, to age appropriate discussions of more serious issues like teen suicide, loss and abandonment and child refugees for older students. Originally from Lahore and brought up in Canada, Khan has over ten books in print and several more ready for publication in the near future.

Born and raised in England, Kaur has always found ways to identify with her environments. During her academic years, she unearthed valuable insights into the connections between 17th century Spanish Literature and that of Punjabi Classics. Continued experiences across these diverse cultural borders have enriched her sense of global citizenry- a theme that is reflected in her first children’s book, “A Lion’s Mane,” a story that contextualizes the many connections we share as across cultures.
In Painted Nation, Gemini Award-winning Toronto filmmaker Cyrus Sundar Singh takes an affectionate look at India’s vanishing street art, its gifted creators, and its once-powerful place in the national culture.
For decades, garishly hand-painted billboards have been a ubiquitous feature of India’s urban landscape, advertising everything from hair products to Bollywood hits. Drawing deeply upon religious and mythological sources, they have long embodied a part of the national soul. But today this art form is disappearing – collateral damage in the country’s battle for the spoils of globalization.

If art measures the pulse of a nation, then Sadequain Naqvi had his finger on the pulse of his native Pakistan. As a painter, muralist, calligrapher, and a radical poet, Sadequain exploited his genius to pay homage to working class men and women and expose the inequalities of the system.
An innovator, he set aside the old traditions and created his own potent symbolic imagery to capture a wide array of subjects ranging from his opinion of the natural to the interpretation of the supernatural. He introduced the nation to mural art and produced a dizzying array of large murals, numbering more than thirty six, and measuring up to 170 x 28 feet in size. These murals are spread over Pakistan, India, the Middle East, the USA, Canada and Europe.
The father of modern calligraphy, Sadequain was responsible for popularizing this art form in Asia and the Middle East, and for the renaissance of calligraphic art in Pakistan. The artistic intricacy in his masterly strokes and social commentary in his grotesque designs were the hallmarks of Sadequain’s genius. 
An astute and sensitive poet, he composed over four thousand quatrains in Urdu language, which provide a window to the complexities of human life. One of Sadequain’s less known poetic accomplishments came in 1970 when he wrote 1,111 Rubiyats (Quatrains) and published them along with his drawings in an Urdu book titled Rubiyat Sadequain Naquash. 
This work has recently been digitally restored and has for the first time been reproduced and made available to a wider audience by the Sadequain Foundation of California.  
Salman Ahmad of the Sadequain Foundation, Ali Adil Khan from the South Asian Gallery of Art (Toronto) and Munir Parvez from the Writers Forum (Toronto) will speak about Sadequain, his art and poetry in the larger context of art today.
Friends of South Asia, or FSA, is a special interest membership group at the Royal Ontario Museum that supports a deeper understanding and appreciation of the diverse and rich history of South Asian Arts.

What is the purpose of Friends of South Asia?

Friends of South Asia was created to support the activities of the Sir Christopher Ondaatje South Asian Gallery at the ROM, increase public awareness of its outstanding South Asian collection, and provide high-quality South Asian programming at the Museum to educate people about the rich history and diversity of South Asian arts.

What kind of programming does Friends of South Asia offer?
Friends of South Asia offers a range of special programming throughout the year. From family themed events to intimate evenings with curators, artists, authors and performers, there is something for every interest and from every cultural tradition in South Asia.  
FSA is also proud to present the annual South Asian Heritage Day every February.   Designed to coincide with the anniversary of the permanent collection’s move to the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, the all day event features a rotating roster of performers, arts, and crafts reflecting the many cultures and traditions of South Asia.

What are some benefits of becoming a member?

·         ALL regular membership benefits—free museum admission, tickets to blockbuster exhibits, the new ROM magazine
·         Attend exclusive South Asian lectures & programs – minimum two free member’s events a year!
·         Meet a diverse group of people who share an interest in South Asian art and history
·         Be in the know about South Asian programming at the ROM through FSA’s bi-annual newsletters
·         Support South Asian arts at the ROM!
Become a member today! Contact us at membership@rom.on.ca or by calling us at 416-586-5700.
Related Articles

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Confirm you are not a spammer! *