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CURTAIN RAISER

— JASMEEN DUGAL

Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar- Chairman and Managing Trustee- Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation follows a personal commitment of preserving the City of Udaipur as living heritage. His vision is being fulfilled through a set of initiatives — one of them being the annual World Living Heritage Festival — to make heritage relevant. Before I go any further I'd like to explain to the uninitiated—as I was last year—about 'Living Heritage' characterised by the concept of 'continuity'. It approaches heritage as 'alive' i.e. constantly evolving and hence the enormity of the continuous heritage conservation and maintenance of heritage properties.

 

The fourth World Living Heritage Festival [WLHF] — to be held on 17-20 October 2018 — is a powerhouse forum for an exchange of knowledge between experts i.e. architects, artisans, historians, heritage experts and custodians, scholars and representatives from the Government of India, Government of Rajasthan and foreign governments, representatives from UNESCO, ICOMOS and IHCN-F.  This year, WLHF aspires to raise and address the questions: What is the role of oral tradition? What is the role of stories in our cultures? What is the relationship between rituals or festivals and built heritage spaces such as palaces, forts, temples, step-wells, ghats, squares, maidans and old neighbourhoods? Are these built heritage spaces just structures or do they play a more significant part in our everyday lives? In our quest to answer these questions, can we look to an approach to living heritage which is particularly Asian? Does such an approach exist? If so, what is it? And equally important, what are other approaches to living heritage across cultures all over the world? How do they relate to each other? What can these approaches learn from each other in order to create a rich way of understanding heritage? I, for one, am looking forward to participating in these panel discussions, and discovering answers expert panelists arrive at, which would consequently pave the way for preserving heritage and making it relevant to future generations — both local residents and International visitors.

 

In a nutshell, highlights of the fourth World Living Heritage Festival include Ashwa Poojan i.e. horse worship ceremony which serves as a reminder that the onus lies on each one of us to keep traditions, customs and rituals alive and pass it on; International conference on living heritage; panel discussions and workshops, heritage walks; crafts bazaar by local craftsmen, artists and artisans; sunrise raga; and musical concerts. Each day, the performances, the panel discussions, the workshops and the heritage walks would be inter-linked by one of the sub-themes and set in venues that are iconic monuments, temples and public spaces in the city of Udaipur.
 

The fourth World Living Heritage Festival
2017: World Living Heritage Festival
 
2016: His Excellency Ambassador of France in India, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar Maharana Of Udaipur and guests
 
2016: Holika Dahan
 
The City Palace Complex Udaipur!
 
03-OCTOBER-2018
 
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