Cultural Event: Pondicherry, June 2018

Cultural Event: Pondicherry, June 2018

On 28th June 2018, FSL-India, Pondicherry team organized a Cultural Event (CE) for our regular LTV volunteers. Every month, we organize a cultural event for our regular volunteers and we take them to any cultural and historical places which are located in and around Pondicherry. This month, the Cultural Event was focused on Religion and Nature – Pichavaram boat house and Chidambaram temple.

Pichavaram is a village near Chidambaram in Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu, India. The area is surrounded by mangrove forests, which is the world’s second largest by area. It is located between the Vellar estuary in the north and Coleroon estuary in the south. The Vellar-Coleroon estuarine complex forms the Killai backwater and the mangroves that are permanently rooted in a few feet of water.

Nataraja Temple, also referred to as the Chidambaram Nataraja temple or Thillai Nataraja temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Nataraja – Shiva as the lord of dance – in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple has mythical roots and a Shiva shrine existed at the site when the town was known as Thillai. Chidambaram, the name of the city and the temple literally means “atmosphere of wisdom” or “clothed in thought”, the temple architecture symbolises the connection between the arts and spirituality, creative activity and the divine. The temple wall carvings display all the 108 karanas from the Natya Shastra by Bharata Muni, and these postures form a foundation of Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance.

In the morning, FSL-India’s coordinator and the volunteers started their travel from the meeting point to the place of the cultural event.  In the beginning, the Coordinator explained about the activities. Then, she took the 2 volunteers to the Nataraja Temple and Pichavaram. FSL-India’s Coordinator explained to them about the history of the temple. They felt very cool and relaxed in the temple.

After the visit to the temple and Pichavaram our FSL-India coordinator and volunteers sampled the local cuisine at lunch and discussed about their experiences in the host family and project.

Volunteers’ Feedback:

* The cultural event was very interesting. We had nature and cultural experiences in Chidambaram

* Really nice day

* We learned about Shiva’s story

* It’s actually a wonderful event. Would like see more places like this

* We have learned many cultural things, Eg how they are decorating the lord, why people are praying, why they are keeping vibuthi on head. Why they are giving prasadam etc.

* It was actually a nice journey and we had a nice time with the Coordinator. The places we went to were really amazing and the Coordinator explained to me about the temple, who ruled there and how it was constructed.

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