AVI meeting in Orisssa
An early report (Feb 3rd 2010)
I just wanted to share some moments from the extraordinary program that
Devasmita, Satyakam and our friends from Orissa put together.
At the airport, there was a greeting with the blowing of conch shells and
drums blessing the arriving Aurovilians.
In the afternoon we had a special visit to the tribal museum, then visited the Sri Aurobindo Center with its beautiful Samadhi designed like the one at the Ashram, then to a celebration of the tribal cultures with dance performances.
Yesterday we met the Chief Minister of Orissa, Naveen Patnaik, in his
offices and then prepared for a 5 hour public presentation to approximately
500 people in a large hall opposite our hotel.
The program was under the patronage of former Governing Board member Sri Dibyasingha Deb, the Maharaja of Puri. He and his wife attended the full
program and made helpful comments throughout. Mr. Debi Prassad Mishra, the Minister of Tourism and Culture also attended.
Odissi dance and drumming provided cultural interludes to the presentations by Deepti, Luigi, Joss, Toine and Uma. Each presented, with visuals, on their work and reflected their sincere commitment to our shared ideals.
A number of questions were fielded from the audience, including some younger members interested in urban planning and alternative energy.
In a closing ceremony we honored the team led by Satyakam and Devasmita and presented a shawl to Dominique Darr in appreciation of her unique contribution of documenting Auroville with her wonderful photographs over the past forty years.
Now there are various field trips, one to a rural Sri Aurobindo Center and
an integral school, then we will visit some of the temples in Bhubaneswar
and Puri before returning to Auroville for our official AVI meetings.
We hope our efforts lead to closer collaboration with Orissa and the other
states of India . It is anticipated to have a cultural celebration Orissa in
Auroville within the year and a visit to Gujarat in the coming years.
I have posted some photos at our AVIUSA Facebook page: