A New York-based cultural organization is set to celebrate Holi with fervor through special festivities including a puppet show, art activities, and Indian dance workshops to commemorate the Indian festival of colors and spread awareness among communities here about Indian culture. The Culture Tree, which promotes cultural literacy about South Asia, in partnership with New York City’s cultural epicenter The Seaport, will host a special celebration on the occasion of Holi on March 19.
The array of Holi festivities, aimed at not only celebrating the festival but also teaching the community about Indian culture, will feature a puppet show, art activities and an Indian dance workshop and performance. “As a cultural educator, I am always looking forward to providing children with authentic, immersive and inspiring experiences. In our Holi celebration, we will bring to life the festivities of one of the most fun festivals and bring the community together. Through events like this, we can offer cross-cultural exposure that can help shape knowledgeable, open-minded and respectful individuals, while also offering ways in which children and families from the diaspora can connect with and celebrate their heritage,” Founder and President of The Culture Tree Anu Sehgal told PTI.
The Culture Tree, which is a Minority Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) certified organization, said that the puppet show, ‘Colors of Krishna’s Love’, highlights “one of the most beloved stories from Krishna’s childhood, that of engaging in games and antics with his friends and family, including his friends Radha and Sudama.” The puppet show will highlight “these beautiful moments from Krishna’s life and celebrate unconditional love and friendship.” The show will include dance, drama, puppetry, songs and a grand finale in which the children can play with the characters of Krishna, Sudama and Radha. The celebrations will also include a puppet-making workshop, giving the children an opportunity to make their own puppets based on the characters from the show.
A colorful and vibrant dance performance inspired by a mix of Bollywood, folk and semi-classical choreography, paired with popular songs on Holi, an energetic and engaging Holi inspired Bollywood and Bhangra dance lesson for the children and parents are also in the line-up planned by The Culture Tree for the celebration, expected to be attended by hundreds of people.
The organization said visitors will also be able to sample traditional Indian cuisine enjoyed during this annual festival and purchase Holi colors and books to continue the festivities at home.
Children’s book author and communications director at The Culture Tree Mona Sehgal said in a blog post on the website of The Seaport that the Holi puppet show is written by Indian storytellers Madhuri Kale and Sampada Pawar.
She said the puppet show also addresses the issue of colorism and aims to convey “the message that love and friendship prevail and can overcome socially-created barriers surrounding skin color.”
She added that The Culture Tree partners with museums, galleries, schools and libraries to implement its classes and programming. It was invited by The Metropolitan Museum of Art to be a part of its World Culture Festival when the organization did three performances of ‘The Colors of Krishna’s Love’. The Culture Tree provides South Asian-themed educational and cultural programs for children and their families, using language, art, puppet shows, dance, food and the holidays to provide audiences here a detailed experience about the culture in the sub-continent. The Seaport is a maritime hub and is home to local residents, dining and cultural experiences. (Source: PTI)