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April 27, 2012 > Indus Heritage Day

Indus Heritage Day

Submitted By India Community Center

On April 29, three organizations, India Community Center along with the Pakistani American Culture Center and The 1947 Partition Archive are teaming up to debut a Silicon Valley first: the Indus Heritage Day.

Indus Heritage Day aims to celebrate shared South Asian histories. During this event, the focus is the ancient Indus Valley, a highly advanced but little known South Asian civilization that was at its height 5,000 years ago. Children and adults alike will be educated about the Indus Valley through a series of craft activities, a walk through, a documentary film screening, and keynote lecture by world renowned Indus Valley archaeologist Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer.

The educational event is completely free to the public. The day will unfold with breakfast at 10 a.m. Through hands on activities that include Indus hat, jewelry, and seal making, children will learn about the undeciphered ancient Indus script, intriguing details about the ancient Indus trade routes with Mesopotamia and Egypt, along with technology and fashion of that time. The event will also feature an 'ancient photo booth' and an ancient city 'model-home' walk through. Local henna artist, Tisha, will feature Indus Valley themed henna designs.

At 11:30 p.m., budding Pakistani documentary filmmaker Saqib Mausoof will screen his upcoming documentary film "In Search of Meluhha: Untold story of the Indus Civilization." The film screening will be followed by a lecture at noon entitled "Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley" by Professor Kenoyer. This talk will present an overview of the major cities of the Indus civilization in Pakistan and India, along with a discussion of smaller settlements and distant resource areas. The important features that distinguish this civilization will be examined including settlement organization, technology, writing, art and religion. The talk will also discuss the evidence for contacts and trade between the Indus region and other adjacent areas, such as peninsular India, Central Asia, the Arabian gulf, Iran and Mesopotamia. Additional areas of discussion will include the decline and transformation of this civilization and its major contributions to later cultural traditions of South Asia.

The event will close with children from Xpressions dance company performing Indus regional folk dances including Chalo Mela Ma, a regional dance from Rajasthan and Gujarat that is linked to the unique rituals and prayers of these geographies. A second dance, Dandiya Raas is derived from Ras Leela, performed by Lord Krishna and Gokul and Vrindavan with the Gopies (cowgirls). The distinguishing feature of the Raas is the short sticks (dandiya) representing the sword of Durga carried by the dancers, which they strike in rhythm. Raas is danced by men and women, sometimes together. Majority of the Raas songs are in praise of Krishna and it builds in tempo as it progresses, leading to an exciting finish.

Indus Heritage Day is expected to educate children (and adults alike) on South Asian history and inspire study and preservation by the current and future generations. The event is sponsored by a number of local businesses and individuals, as well as art and culture organizations including the Global Heritage Fund and Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India (SACHI).

The event is free but pre-registration is required. Sign up online at For more information, call (408) 934-1130.

Indus Heritage Day
Sunday, April 29
10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
India Community Center
525 Los Coches St., Milpitas
(408) 934-1130
Free (registration required)

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