Cultivating Character and Culture
It is said that it takes ten years to cultivate trees, but a hundred years to cultivate a person.
Originally, culture was defined as the cultivation of the soul or the mind. Today, culture continues to impact our character through the arts and traditions that engender the basic principles of life.
The annual cultural festival of the Amrita School of Arts and Science at Kochi, Kalamritam, is an example of how Amrita is maintaining the traditions that enrich our lives and shape our character.
Sri. Soorya Krishnamurthy, Chairman, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy, inaugurated Kalamritam 2011 by explaining, “It’s only by looking into our culture that we learn and develop good habits.”
Presiding over the function was Dr. Lakshmi Sankar, acclaimed researcher and speaker from the Department of Sanskrit, Sreekrishna College, Guruvayur.
During the event, attendees enjoyed art, dance, cultural programs and competitions. They also partook in delicious South and North Indian dishes served at the food court set up by the students.
An innovative dance drama on wild life photography was performed by the entire second-year Masters of Fine Arts class.
The student volunteer group Samskriti and Vishwa Samskrita Prathishtan jointly hosted an exhibition on Sanskrit, which portrayed the wisdom and advanced science and technologies of ancient India. More than 300 items used in daily life were displayed with Sanskrit names.
Kalamritam’s grand finale came with a unique performance of the great Indian epic, Ramayana, wherein nearly 80 students and faculty members participated in an hour-long portrayal of 7 kandas or phases of Rama’s life. Each kanda illustrated the ideal behavior to be followed as one strives to attain the goal of human birth.
“Several students and staff put their hearts and souls into the art direction, production and stage design,” stated Prof. S. Jayaprakash of the Visual Media Department, who produced and directed the drama.
Also during August, the 8th annual extramural expert lecture series, Vidyamritham 2011, was inaugurated at the School.
Swami Purnamritananda Puri, General Secretary of Mata Amritanandamayi Math; Dr. Prem Nair, Medical Director, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Dr. N. K. Jayakumar, Vice Chancellor, National University of Advanced Legal Studies were among those present.
The coming months will see experts from the fields of commerce and management, computer science and visual media share their insights with students, imparting to them priceless education in culture and values.
October 4, 2011
School of Arts and Sciences, Kochi