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The Indian Heritage Centre’s (IHC) first digital edition of IHC CultureFest showcases the diversity of Indian arts, culture and heritage in Singapore through the lens of the epic literary work Ramayana. The eclectic line-up of online programmes includes cultural performances, panel discussions, workshops, storytelling sessions and cooking demonstrations. They will explore a wide variety of Indian art and culture forms and their influences, bound by common values and themes. IHC CultureFest 2020: Digital Edition is currently taking place from Saturday, 5 September to 20 September 2020, and the programmes can be enjoyed for free online at IHC’s Facebook page and website.

Mrs Maria Bhavani Dass, General Manager of IHC, said, “This year’s IHC CultureFest celebrates the rich intangible cultural heritage of our Indian diaspora in Singapore through the lens of a well-loved epic: Ramayana. The classic literary work espouses universal values, such as unity amongst people of the world, that is much needed for the times we live in. With this digital edition of IHC CultureFest, we hope that more will join us online to enjoy the many different programmes to discover more about our diverse Indian heritage, arts and culture.”

IHC CultureFest 2020’s more than 40 programmes, which include performances, demonstrations and workshops, with new programmes introduced every week to keep festival-goers coming back. To make it easier for audiences to a Heritage Institution of catch a daily dose of culture, bite-sized videos will be posted on the IHC Facebook page every weekday, with Lunchtime Culture Bites at 1-00 pm, and a Daily Cultural Showcase at 6-00 pm.  Special programmes will be uploaded on weekends.

Headlining this year’s IHC CultureFest are both traditional and contemporary performances by local artists and groups – all inspired by the Ramayana. Kicked off the festival on 5 September is Sita, a dance production of celebrated Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma’s Ramayana paintings, brought to life by Apsaras Arts, a recipient of NHB’s The Stewards of Singapore’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Award. Other highlights included a retelling of the story of the Ramayana by Singaporean storyteller Kamini Ramachandran through a six-part series of illustrations by local artist Yip Yew Chong, and a community youth showcase that combines the traditional art forms of kalaripayattu, silambam, bharatanatyam, kathak, traditional yoga and veenai to reenact a key portion of the Ramayana.

In addition to these performances, interactive programming and workshops also introduced the values of Ramayana to audiences of all ages. For example, Ramayana: A Dance-telling session told through Puppetry and Craft told the tale of the Ramayana by getting audiences to dance and create their own characters through a blended approach of storytelling, performing arts and craft.

Join chef Devagi Sanmugam as she prepares an epic three-course meal with a traditional drink.

In the Madhubani Art Workshop, participants will be able to create a piece of Ramayana-themed madhubani pen art, and learn more about the history of this traditional folk art, which is often created as a decoration for events such as weddings, harvests and festivals.

To enjoy IHC CultureFest programmes, please visit, or IHC’s Facebook page.

Source:  Indian Heritage Centre’s press Release on the 2nd September 2020

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