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The "Indian Mosaic" Festival

in St. Petersburg

The "Indian Mosaic" International Festival took place at the St. Petersburg Stieglitz State academy of Art and Design from February 12 to 22. It was organized in collaboration with the Indian Embassy in Russia, and devoted to the development of Russian – Indian cultural cooperation. The Festival diversified cultural program included thematic exhibitions and ended with the international scientific-practical conference.

The gala opening of the "Indian Mosaic" Festival took place on February 12 - the 140th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding philosopher cosmist Helena Roerich. The Consul General of the Republic of India in St. Petersburg, Mr. Deepak Miglani, spoke to the members of the festival and focused on the intention and readiness of both countries to expand cultural interaction and cooperation.

The exposition of the exhibition “The Roerichs is a bridge of culture and friendship between Russia and India” contained photographs from the funds of the International Center of the Roerichs (ICR) in Moscow and was devoted to the heroic life of the Roerichs and their selfless activity in the name of the spiritual and cultural evolution of humanity.

The exhibition “Russia - India: From Heart to Heart” presented the creative works of Indian children - participants of the International Children's and Youth Festival of the Russian-Indian Friendship, one of the organizers of which was the International Roerich Memorial Trust in Naggar. Young artists from the Kullu valley took part in this exhibition, among them there were pupils of the Helena Roerich Children's Academy of Arts of the IRMT. The bright Indian sun and the light of love for their motherland shine in their pictures and convey the spirit of the majestic Himalayas, the beauty and wisdom of India, as a friendly greeting. As Tamara Merges, the representative of the volunteer group of the ICR and also the coordinator of the “Russia-India: From Heart to Heart” festival, noted, these paintings, as well as drawings of students from Delhi, were donated by Indian children to Russian children and two years traveling in the regions of Russia.

The speakers noted the special role of the great Russian family - the Roerichs in formation and development of cultural and friend relations between Russia and India. Possessing a huge artistic and cultural heritage, Russia and India have opportunities for successful creative cooperation. It is art and culture are the bridges that open the way for mutual understanding and friendship.

Tamara Merges, the representative of the volunteer group of the International Centre of the Roerichs on behalf of the Russian and Indian curators of the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT) in Naggar, where Indian and Russian employees work together, greeted the Festival and gifted the bronze statue of the Indian Goddess Sarasvati, the Patroness of art, knowledge and wisdom, to the Stieglitz Academy from the IRMT.

In memory of the spiritual teacher of the nation and freedom fighter of India Mahatma Gandhi, whose 150th anniversary is celebrated in October of this year, the interactive exhibition “Mahatma Gandhi” was solemnly opened, organized by the Embassy of India in Russia and the Consulate General of India in St. Petersburg.

The Indian guests, led by the Consul General of India in St. Petersburg, Mr. Deepak Miglani, expressed their joy and gratitude for the opportunity to watch the creative works of children from their native India. Mr. Deepak Miglani highly appreciated the activities of the children's and youth festival and expressed a wish to meet with its participants in the International Roerich Memorial Trust in Naggar.

The Festival program also included an exhibition-competition of creative works of teachers and students of the Stieglitz Academy “Inspired by India” and the photo exhibition “Creativity”, which showed diploma projects of students of the department of monumental-decorative sculpture dedicated to Nicholas Roerich and Rabindranath Tagore. The chairman of the Union of Photographic Artists of St. Petersburg, A.Dymnikov, presented his photos “Indian Himalayas”.

The conference “India at the crossroads of cultures and traditions: science, education, creativity” was held on February 20-21. On behalf of the Embassy of India in Moscow, the Vice-Consul of the Republic of India in St. Petersburg Mr. Rajeev Ranjan addressed the conference participants with a welcoming speech. Representatives of the International Centre of the Roerichs and its St. Petersburg branch made presentations on the life, creativity and social activities of the Roerich family. A great impression on the audience was made by the report of the artist Harsh Inder Lumba from Delhi “Art of Nicholas Roerich through the eyes of an Indian artist”, which she presented at the conference.

The reports of scientists and researchers from the Stieglitz Academy, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, St. Petersburg State University, State Museum of Oriental Art were devoted  to friendly relations between Russia and India, as well as questions of the literary, visual and architectural heritage of India.

Among the poster presentations was the report “The International Roerich Memorial Trust in India - the centre of culture, friendship and cooperation” by L.Surgina, the Russian curator of the IRMT (Naggar, Kullu, India), a member of the International Centere of the Roerichs.

The “Indian Mosaic” Festival became a wonderful holiday of Russian-Indian friendship and Indian culture. It inaugurated the beginning of 2019, the anniversary year for the Roerich family. It is noteworthy that the holiday took place in St. Petersburg, the hometown of the Roerichs, where their glorious Indian way began from. The festival fully confirmed the words of N. Roerich: “How joyful it is to see the vitality in the Indo-Russian ties. <...> There exists beauty in the Indo-Russian magnet. Heart gives message to other heart.”