Monday, August 25, 2008

Paintings and dances on Krishna's day

Courtesy: The Kathmandu Post
25 August 2008

“Astimki and Paiya Sakhya Dance,” a one-day workshop based on the ethnic culture of Tharu people was carried out by Sutra, Alternative Art Group, at Nepal Art Council, Babar Mahal this past Saturday evening.

The workshop held the live sketching of Astimki painting, a special form of Mithila art, which is drawn particularly on the day of Krishna Janma Astami (birthday of Lord Krishna).

“Since today is Krishna Janma Astami, we thought it was the perfect time to introduce this rich Tharu culture,” informed Ashok Tharu, resource person of the workshop. “It is one of the major aspects of Tharu folklore, which is still unknown to many urbanites.”

According to him, this unique cultural heritage is yet to transcend the narrow borders of Tharu community and reach broader audiences.
“Rather unfortunately, this painting is limited to some specific places like Dang, Bardia, Banke, Kailali, to name a few,” Manish Lal Shrestha, artist and coordinator of Sutra, remarked as he agreed with Ashok.

To have organizers say, the artists, who paint Astimki, observe fasting throughout the day. They break their fast in dusk and worship the Astimki painting. Worshipping is followed by celebration and Paiya Sakhya dance.

The workshop was wrapped up with Paiya Sakhya dance by the special dancers from the Tharu community.

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