Christmas and New Year celebrated in Naggar
On December 25, 2016 students of the Helena Roerich Academy of Art for Children managed by the International Roerich Memorial Trust, Naggar (IRMT) and their parents were invited to the Christmas-cum-New Year celebration. The guests were seated in the decorated Seminar Hall, IRMT where the improvised Christmas tree complete with lovely baubles and garlands greeted them from the corner.
The festivities commenced with the prayer to the goddess of learning Sarasvati and the ceremonial lighting of lamp. The floor was then taken by the Indian Curator, IRMT, Mr. Ramesh Chander. In his address he stressed that the Great Teachers of humanity like Jesus Christ do not belong to a single country or nation and cannot be claimed by a single religious community. They are universal just like humanity itself. They preached humanity and inspired mankind to develop this sublime quality – something we have not fully leant despite the passage of time. He also mentioned that one such outstanding universal personality was the eminent Russian artist Nicholas Roerich.
This was followed by a video programme on the Christmas and New Year celebrations prepared by Alexander Pereverzev, Assistant of the Russian Curator, IRMT. He showed the assembled children video presentation on Nicholas Roerich’s paintings dedicated to Jesus Christ and his mosaics for churches, and completed the show with a short animation on the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus. The language of animation seemed to have found its way into the hearts of the audience aged mostly between five and sixteen.
The cultural programme put up by the students left the young audience thrilled. The students including the youngest gladly volunteered to demonstrate their talents in singing, dancing and poetry reading. Much of this performance was spontaneous and the children’s eagerness to show what they had learnt was obvious.
To make the memories of the day really sweet, the children were treated to Russian traditional sweets (chocolate candies and famous Tula gingerbreads) sent for the occasion all the way from Moscow by the staff of the International Centre of the Roerichs. Each young participant of the programme also received Russian exercise books, while senior students of the painting class got sets of paints and other drawing utensils and stationery items.
It is hoped that this day will stay in their memory as a happy and festive occasion despite the winter chill.