SPIC MACAY : Preserving and promoting culture among youth

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Picture Courtesy: Maharaja Agrasen College

Picture Courtesy: Maharaja Agrasen College

Picture Courtesy: Maharaja Agrasen College

By Meghna Nair

Culture is an inherent part of a society and its people. With time, like all dynamic and transient entities, culture too, undergoes certain changes. Indian culture is one of the most ancient cultures in today’s world. However with the passage of time, it, too, has lost some of its classical art- forms.

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The Society for Promoting Indian Classical Music and Culture among Youth (SPIC MACAY) is one of the organizations dedicated to preserving and promoting Indian classical art-forms, which have been essential components of Indian culture.

The emphasis of this organization is to expose the children and the youth to Indian classical art forms.

SPIC MACAY was started in 1977, by Dr. Kiran Seth, a Professor of IIT-Delhi, with the aim of enriching formal education by exposing people to various aspects of Indian culture and heritage. Since then, it has come a long way. Now their events are organized almost everywhere, from rural to urban districts.

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According to its official website in 2011-12 alone around 4600+ programmes were organized in more than 1500 institutions in 300 towns in India and 50 towns abroad.

“SPIC MACAY’s aim is really inspiring. We go to different schools where children hardly know about Indian Classical culture. Spreading art among students, who are interested in learning about culture, is an enriching experience. We are asked a number of questions by children, which even makes us feel like why haven’t we thought of that earlier?” Akshaya R., a Bharatanatyam artist with SPIC MACAY, told NewsGram.

Apart from famous classical art forms, SPIC MACAY also promotes less known folk and classical dance forms. It has been a crucial catalyst in uplifting the lesser known art forms of India.

The decadence of Indian art forms

The main cause of decadence of any art form is lack of knowledge. In India barring a famous few, many folk art forms do not have any written literature. They are transferred from one generation to another orally. Thus many of the art forms are now extinct, and several others are endangered.

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Manipuri Dance. Picture Courtesy : Maharaja Agrasen College

Spic Macay aims at restoring the endangered dance forms by bringing them back into the popular culture. This is an important contribution towards reviving and sustaining Indian art forms.

Majority of the Indian artists are virtually unknown. SPIC MACAY has been a huge help to these artists. It not only brings the artists closer to their audience, but also gives a good boost to their careers, as it is supported and endorsed by the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and the HRD Ministry.

Internationally, it is recognized and supported by Rikskonsertene (Norway) and Goethe Institute (Germany) which enables conducting of 300+ concerts by Indian artistes in Scandinavia and Germany, and 200+ concerts by international classical artistes across India, as is stated on the website.

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