George Roerich’s birthday in the International Roerich Memorial Trust
George Roerich’s birthday in the International Roerich Memorial Trust (Naggar, Kullu, India) was celebrated with the inauguration of a photo exhibition “India – along the paths of ancient cultures” by a Ukrainian photographer and researcher Mr. Vitaly Novikov. The photos displayed at the exhibition are the result of the author’s trips along the route of the Central Asian Himalayan expedition of the Roerichs which he undertook with the representatives of the Dnepropetrovsk Association of the Roerichs in 2009-2012.
“We dedicated this exhibition to George Roerich, today he would be 112 years old, - told Mrs. Larisa V. Surgina, Russian Curator of the IRMT, an employee of the International Centre of the Roerichs (Moscow). - As all Roerichs, George Roerich created a golden link between Russia and India. He not only designed future lines for cooperation but also strengthened cordial and spiritual bonds between our nations”.
Indian curator, Mr. Ramesh Chander, highlighted an enormous contribution of George Roerich into the development of linguistics and history, into preparation and promotion of the Roerich Pact on protection of the cultural treasures. “The name of George Roerich is well-known in many countries of the world, - noted Mr. Ramesh Chander. – One of the most talented linguists, historians, archeologists he was one of the greatest encyclopedists of the East and West. He brilliantly knew the culture of the East, its religion and philosophy”.
“George Roerich was an outstanding researcher of a Buddhist tradition, - said a Guest of Honour of the exhibition, a great friend of the IRMT, a Buddhologist and a writer, Mr. Tsering Dorje. – He communicated a lot with Buddhist teachers and Buddhist followers, he contributed a lot into the study of history of Buddhism in India and Tibet. He translated Buddhist manuscripts. He knew Buddhist art very well”.
Ancient monasteries and temples, snow-white stupas, Buddhist thankas, sculptures and murals are captured in the photos of the exhibition. The author, Mr.Vitaly Novikov, managed not only to transmit their outer beauty but what is more important – their inner beauty and fullness. Following Roerichs’ paths the Ukrainian artist could penetrate with his heart into the spiritual culture of Indian people, feel its ancientness and at the same time its modernity and vitality.
The speakers expressed their gratefulness to the author of the exhibition, to Mr. Vitaly Novikov, to the Dnepropetrovsk Association of the Roerichs and the International Centre of the Roerichs for the wonderful photos and possibility to exhibit them in the International Roerich Memorial Trust in Naggar.
An organic continuation of the function was a short music programme performed by the students of the Helena Roerich Academy of Art (for children) (the IRMT) and talented singers from Naggar. They sang traditional Indian songs, ancient songs of the Kullu valley and Chamba. For many centuries people sing these songs in the Himalayas, songs about love and beauty, universal values that give life to people’s heart.
The final accord of the programme was a traditional circle dance that unites and inspires people and guests of the Himalayan valley science ancient times. In the Kullu valley this slow and at the same time cheerful dance is called “Nati”. It becomes a good tradition to finalize functions with the “Nati” circle dance of Indian and Russian employees and guests of the International Roerich Memorial Trust.