Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Recall the then to plan the now of the Kalinga Indonesia Dialogue - Taalam: column by Leela Venkataraman

How does a seminar on an interaction between two countries, relate to a dance event, one may well ask. It does, specially, when the regions involved are Indonesia and what was the then Kalinga Empire in India, which comprised much of present day Odisha. There was also the special relationship with Indonesia shared by late Chief Minister of Odisha, Biju Patnaik, whose significant interventions at a very important point in Indonesian history earned him recognition as ‘Bhumi Putra’. The Sadabha-s who set sail from ancient Kalinga, took with them their ideas too, to the countries they traded with. If Odisha events like ‘Boita Bandana’, the Ballad of “Taw-Poi” and Khudurukuni Osa and “A-Ka-Ma-Bai” in Odisha are a throwback of the past ties, the temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, the Javanese Prambanan, names like Sita Suleiman and Maulana Vishnu (mentioned in his talk by Prof. V. Suryanarayana specialising in South and South-East Asian studies), Buddhist monuments and flourishing Hinduism in Bali and pockets of other places like Java and Sumatra in Indonesia tell their own tales of the past interactions. Two highly populous nations, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural, India and Indonesia apart from shared values, have been linked by over two thousand year old cultural ties. Both won independence in mid-twentieth century, shaking off the shackles of years of colonial domination. 

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