World Heritage Week is around the corner, and it is high time you begin preparing for it. Our traditions are valuable for us as a society and also as individuals. For a long time, we have neglected them and exposed them to deteriorating forces. We have to make extra effort to connect with our shared past and learn valuable lessons from our insightful traditional knowledge. Here are a few suggestions on how to make this World Heritage Week a memorable experience.
1. Plan a Traditional Wear Day
One of the most convenient ways of celebrating World Heritage Week is to wear the traditional attire of your ethnicity. Adding challenge to it, you and your peers can wear the traditional wear of other ethnicities. For example, if you are Punjabi then, you can wear Assamese Saree and vice versa. The aim here would be to represent, appreciate, and experience the culture you do not engage in daily.
2. Attend some Heritage-themed Workshops
There are many ways to engage with heritage knowledge this World Heritage Week. Whether you are a school student, at college, or a working professional, you can always participate in heritage workshops where you will learn in-depth about our heritage. As a student, you can take the initiative to organise lectures at your institution, such as inviting important guest speakers who have specialised in heritage studies or organising a virtual tour of crucial historical places.
If you are not a student and can not have easy access to organised sessions, there is nothing to worry about. We have many cultural centres, like India Habitat Centre, which organises regular lectures and workshops with eminent personalities. You can also attend virtual sessions on Indian heritage and gain insight into stories.
3. Engage with Traditional Art
A wonderful way of engaging with Indian Heritage is to have first-hand experience with Indian traditional art forms. Learning about them will expose us to the rich artistic and culture of India, and several imaginative stories of our shared past. Take part in traditional art workshops with your friends, family, or colleagues, and feel close to our shared culture.
The Rooftop App offers you an opportunity to celebrate this World Heritage Week with exciting art workshops where you explore numerous art forms from all over the country. These art forms are legacies from the past that we must engage with to take them forward.
4. Register for Heritage Walks in your City
Heritage walks are a fun activity to do with your friends. On the internet, you will find many companies offering wonderful heritage walks. If you live in Delhi, check out famous places, like Nizamuddin Durgah, Qutub Minar, Safardjung’s tomb, Humayun’s tomb, and the list goes on. In cities like Jaipur, you will get the chance to visit various forts and palaces which you must do once in your lifetime, and it should definitely be this World Heritage Week.
5. Go on Field Trips to Heritage Sites
If you want something peaceful and primitive, get out of metropolitan cities and reach out to the gems in the countryside. Explore heritage like Kalibangan in Rajasthan, Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh, Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Hampi in Karnataka, etc. Heritage does not limit us to human culture but engages us with the natural world. If you have not yet, then you must visit an Indian natural heritage site, such as the Great Himalayan National Park, Kaziranga National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Western Ghats, Sundarbans National Park, and here too the list goes on.
6. Think Global, Go Local
What does it mean when we say ‘think global’? Does it mean to learn about the world history? If yes, then how and on what terms? Thinking global is observing the bigger world around you and recognising how our present lifestyle, tools we use, things we eat, and the knowledge we consume have a long history at a global level, and all of it took a long time for humanity to build. We need to engage with human experiences of the past and gain valuable insight through them. We can read centuries-old literature and watch movies and documentaries on special events.
Once you begin to think globally, it is time to focus on the local. Start at your own home, talk to your grandparents or even granduncles and grand-aunts about their lives. Learn about their migration history, what they used to do for leisure as kids, and what were their struggles and crucial experiences. All these stories make your ancestors make up your personal heritage, connected to the large socio-economic changes the world has experienced in past decades. Talk to your neighbours, house helpers, and anyone young and old in your colony, and engage with your story. You can also participate in oral history programs to strengthen the ties of the community.
Also Read: Buzzling Street Art of India
There are no prescribed ways of celebrating World Heritage Week. It is an opportunity for everyone to come together and devise ways to protect our heritage while promoting it and making it accessible to people. To do this, we need awareness and collective knowledge regarding our past. We need to change how we look at education and learning, and there is no age for curiosity and imagination.
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