Kochi, better known as the Queen of Arabian Sea has been a hot seat of regular cultural activities and music shows. The evenings in Cochin are made special by the reverberating musical notes of famous singers from far and wide. Music is a feeling that transcends all barriers of space and time and this fact was underscored on the second day of Vasantholsavam, a musical fest graced by famous artists that is currently on in Kochi, the largest city in the state of Kerala.
Ghazal singer Talat Aziz was all praise for the music loving crowd who urged him for more. Interestingly most of the ghazals requested by the perceptive audience were not so popular but expressive and soul stirring numbers. Urdu is the language of ghazal and a pure ghazal is born when it is rendered in all its originality; translating it to other languages might devour its charm and essence according to Talat Aziz.
Cochin is lucky to have a populace of die hard fans of ghazals – he opined. For the ghazal maestro, who is on his maiden visit to Kochi, it was literally a case of love at first sight with this enchanting city and during the press conference he shared his desire to make Kochi his home.
The need of the hour is to preserve the rich legacy of Indian art forms. The artist and the media have a larger than life role in promoting and preserving ethnic art forms. However, today many art forms are pushed to the back seats due to the over commercialization of art forms and media publicity.
Tagging culture with films or mass media could spell doom to the artists. Today the situation is that if an artist is not associated with films he will be pushed to the oblivion without any recognition or rewards. Overdependence on cinema as a promotional vehicle to drive art and culture is an unhealthy trend that is spreading its roots in today’s society. A good piece of musical creation should flow from heart to heart, cutting across man made barriers like language, caste or nationality. But today artists are more interested in making money out of their skills and talents rather than pursuing and preserving the innumerable priceless ethnic art and cultural forms that are unique to this great country.
Kerala the land of backwaters will host the second international conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations. The conference will be held from 21 to 24th of March 2008, at the Le Meridian International Convention Centre in Kochi. The first Responsible Tourism Conference was held at Cape Town in the year 2002. The second international conference focus on encouraging the eco friendly measures in tourism that aims to give equal benefit to the tourists and the ecology of the land.
The conference will be jointly organised by International Centre for Responsible Tourism and Incredible India and KeralaTourism. The conference will also assess the existing standards of tourism practices prevailing across the world. It will also measure the growth achieved by India and other countries in Responsible Tourism. The main issue that will be put to discussion is the reports and ideas on emerging trend in the field. Other topics include regional marketing initiative, local economic development; wildlife and conservation and lot more related to tourism. In short the conference will provide a perfect platform for a global proposal to uplift the tourism industry to a new standard that will do less harm to the ecology of the area.
The conference will be presided over by Dr. Venu, Secretary of Kerala Tourism and Prof. Harold Goodwin Director of International Centre for Responsible Tourism of Leeds Metropolitan University. Participants of this conference include representatives from several countries, government agencies and NGO’s will attend this conference on Responsible Tourism. The outcome of the conference is expected to bring in effective changes in the global tourism sector and Kerala is all set to welcome this prestigious conference.
Cochin, December 26
Kerala better known as ‘God’s Own Country is home of rich culture, tradition, heritage and natural beauty. In its vast resource of mixed flavours the Cochin Culture Centre has added a new dimension to this heavenly abode. This organisation is presently working towards preserving and promoting the ethnic essence which Kerala exhibits. This centre promotes the traditional performing arts of Kerala, with a dedicated team; they have an academy of arts and theatre group. Along with all the other art forms the main feature of this centre is Kathakali which remains the main traditional art form here. With regular classes been conducted on these rich art skills Cochin Culture Centre is putting all initiatives to keep this heritage alive.
The different traditional art forms been organised here includes Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Kalaripayattu, Theyyam, Patayani, Velakali, Shingarimelam, Panchavadyam, Instrumental music, Ganamela, Magic shows and many more attractions for tourist and travellers willing to explore the real Kerala. The centre has highly skilled and qualified professionals who are master of these art forms training young artists to learn every detail of these various arts. Apart from performing in Kerala, this cultural centre has given its performance in many foreign countries.
The dedicated efforts and enormous talent this centre incorporates has brought many laurels for them. They have been awarded by the Dept. of Tourism, government of Kerala as the ‘Best performing art centre’. Also many well known people have enjoyed their performances. Cochin Cultural Centre with its efforts to keep the traditional ethos and values of Kerala alive has proved to be a bench mark for many.
Well done! Cochin Cultural Centre.
The famous catchphrase of Kerala Tourism Department to promote this State” God’s own country” has won bouquets and brickbats all at once! While it has grabbed a few eyeballs of the curious travelers and tourists from far and wide, this catchphrase has spawned an unexpected axiom of “devils own people” tagged along with this famous one liner. If we delve deeper, it could be seen that it’s not without valid reasons and is definitely not a misnomer either.
Kerala holds the envious repute of a 100% literate state with a substantial English speaking populace. A big chunk of its native populace lives abroad and earns handsome pay packets or run successful business enterprises. There is a casual joke that even if you go to space, you are likely to bump into a Keralite! Millions of Keralites live in various Indian cities and work in distinguished services like civil services, engineering, medicine, nursing and more. However all is not rosy as far as their image is concerned among fellow Indians. Many find them too stubborn and quacks who go to any extend to attain their personal goals. There is a conception that Keralites abhor hard work and they carry false vanity and pompousness tagged into the white collar jobs! It is a bit hypocritical that they would stoop to any level outside their country to make a living and almost always have an innate tendency to bluff.
Having said all these, it does not mean that all people belong to this infamous clan who talk big and act big. There are many enterprising and helpful people out here who have made indelible imprints in Sports, politics, arts, and literature among others. However, the bottom line reads that something has to be done to cast off this stigma and to move ahead with heads held high!
Cochin, December 19
Christmas celebration seems to have gripped the heavenly state with decoration and preparation to embrace the festivity knocking at the door. But it seems celebration has started, this time it was Pre-Christmas bash of Karma Kerala. The young team of Karma Kerala who usually stays busy designing memorable holidays for people was seen in the thick of action. Along with Karma Kerala team, the team of the Globe Health Tours were also there to grace the occasion. Well all men donned a new look with their traditional attire mundu as the dress code. Meanwhile girls were sparkling with their colourful costumes and big smiles on their faces making the evening more pleasant.
The party was organised in a lavish venue on the eleventh floor of the apartment with an aerial view over the city. The party was not less than any rocking Christmas bash with gifts, drinks, cakes, camera flashes, lot of things going on around. Everyone was enjoying the party in their own way, getting out of their working routine and adding a new colour to their lives.
Thiruvananthapuram, December, 15
The 12th International Film Festival of Kerala concluded on a high note yesterday, with the Argentinian film ‘XXY’ directed by Lucia Puenzo and the Iranian film ‘10+4’directed by Mania Akbari sharing the Suvarna Chakoram award for being the best film of the festival. Apart from all the movie makers and film critics, many other dignitaries were present to grace the occasion. The awards were distributed by Chief Minister of Kerala V.S.Achuthanandan to all the winning recipients.
It was the Hong Kong film ‘Getting Home’ directed by Yang Zhang which clinched the audience award and the best Asian Film award. Meanwhile the FIPRESI jury award went to the Portuguese film ‘Sleep Walking Land’ directed by Teresa Prata. And the Malayalam film ‘Ore Kadal’ directed by Shyamaprasad won the best Malayalam film award.
Manya Akbari won the Rajatha Chakoram for the best director and Lucia Puenzo walked away with the best debut director crown. These awards were adjudicated by a panel of eminent persons headed by the Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi. It was informed that the Suvarna Chakoram award carried a cash prize of Rs10 lakh, while the Rajatha Chakoram carried a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh.
This eight day long film festival featured many film from various languages and attracted a huge number of film lovers from all over the world to participate. The festival also helped many budding movie makers to show off their talent in a big platform, now all are looking forth for the next Kerala Film Festival.
Dec 14: Kerala, ‘the Gods Own Country’ has gained global recognition for its wide scope in tourism and hospitality industry. Now Kerala the land of backwaters, unspoilt beaches and houseboats is all set to exploit the huge possibility of the booming IT sector. The prestigious SmartCity project is the huge leap in this regard. Ernakulam the commercial hub of Kerala is selected as the base for this project.
SmartCity took its inspiration from the DubaiInternetCity and it is expected that after completion it will become the biggest IT hub in India. After nearly four years of political turmoil the foundation laying ceremony was carried out by the state Chief Minister V.S.Atchuthanandan. TECOM the Dubai based company is working behind the project.
The government is prepared to open its door to the international IT companies and is ready to lend all support to them. Ernakulam has all the infrastructure facility to boost the IT business that include international harbour, full-fledged airport and well linked roads. Soon after the completion of the most expected Metro rail project and the Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal, Ernakulam will sure become the ideal investment destination for the international IT companies.
Cochin, December, 14
After a television boom in Kerala, resulting to a new era of television with a flurry of channels providing a high dose of entertainment to the Keralities. These days it seems the air blowing around in the Gods Own Country is full of music and upbeat theme. After the television industry gifting Kerala people with an array of entertainment and news channels, now it’s the time of the media houses to come with a new idea which many Keralite were missing in their lives.
Well killing the suspense, the buzz was in the air and it was soothing to listen, hey that was the first radio station launched in this heavenly abode. With Malayalam Manorama coming up with its first radio station, Radio Mango 91.9 offering Kerala people a sweet musical and informative treat to refresh themselves and stay bonded with their culture and values with a musical thread. This was just the beginning of a new revolution in the Kerala radio industry and soon the leading jewellery brand Joy Allukas came up with a innovative and trendy idea of connecting the web browsers to radio by launching the first online radio service which can serve a blend of old and new Malayalam songs to all the malayalees across the globe.
Following the same trend another media baron, Mathrubhumi has recently initiated a new project to launch a radio station 94.3 Club FM for the radio lovers of Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur which will be soon aired. So now if you find any Keralite humming these days, don’t be shocked it’s the radio fever which is gripping Kerala with all musical flavours. So stay tuned for more!
Kerala is a land of diversities and paradoxes that throw in many surprises at every turn of your sojourn through this enchanting strip of land. Nestled along the Arabian Sea, Kerala has many ‘firsts’ under its belt. It is one of the very few Indian states with 100% literacy and where women outnumber men! Women have succeeded in carving a niche of themselves and there are many successful women entrepreneurs business women in this tiny state.
The move was slow and a cautious one alright, but today you can see many woman who seamlessly juggle job and family. Men in Kerala are akin to their other counterparts in India who think that sharing the domestic responsibilities a taboo. Rearing children and managing household chores still falls under the exclusive realm of women. Many a time women toil till late night to keep their family happy and pitch in to the family kitty to increase their living standards.
However, women are always sidelined and their efforts fail to grab the headlines. This disparity is eating into the confidence levels of Kerala women but they are striving hard to swim against the tide and in spite of the countless oddities, women have come out winners.
There are many women from this tiny state who have entered the hall of fame. While the Booker prize winner, Arundati Roy, P T Usha and Mata Amritanadamayi can all be termed as the torch bearers of contemporary women, there are many women such as Captain Lakshmi, who commanded the Jhansi Rani Regiment of the INA under Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, who made Kerala proud by their immense contributions in both national and international levels.