More than a decade after the VKIC completed a documentation project on Kamakhya and its adjoining temples, a new effort is underway to photograph the archaeological objects spread across the temple complex.
Vibrant facets of a historic temple-cum-Namghar came alive in a stage performance on August 30. The devotees of Santan Dharma Mandir, Rampur presented several devotional songs and dances to an audience enabling them to get acquainted with a less known but significant cultural heritage of Assam.
Namghars across Assam are synonymous with religious and cultural functions, but many of them are also exemplary in functioning as institutions of self-governance. This was a view expressed by historian Dr Rahul S Mazumdar while delivering the lecture on Namghar on July 26.
The Namghars in the urban areas of Assam have successfully retained some of the features of Vaishnavite traditions found in village Namghars. The use of an egalitarian platform to worship one unifying God with prayers and discussions is common to Namghars in cities, towns and villages.
Austrian Anthropologist visits VKIC
Anthropology researcher Wally Rey from Vienna visited the VKIC to acquire information on Night Visiting husbands among the Khasis and Jaintias of Meghalaya.
The researcher was provided necessary information on the subject by VKIC’s Research Associate Kunal Choudhury. She was provided publications of the VKIC, which have been well received by scholars and researchers. Equipped with information from VKIC she carried out field investigations in part of Meghalaya.
Namghar Lecture Series
The VKIC as part of its endeavour to unravel the cultural and social reality of Assam and rest of the Northeast organizes lectures, seminars and workshops on significant traditions and institutions. The year 2014 was marked by a series of lectures on Namghar (traditional community prayer hall) in Assam and adjoining areas. Under the banner of Sankriti Anveshak, these lectures were delivered by persons well-versed in their subjects. The lectures were followed by interactive sessions through which the audience was able to gain more knowledge and insights about a remarkable legacy of Srimanta Sankardeva.
Namghar in the Urban Context of Assam
Chairman VKIC, Dipok Kr Barthakur, delivering the welcome address mentioned that this year is significant for VKIC as it the birth centenary year of Eknathji Ranade, the founding father of Vivekananda Kendra and Vivekananda Rock Memorial. His vision to establish a centre to study the culture of Northeast of India led to the inception of Vivekananda Institute of Culture (VKIC) in 1993.