Madras Week 2014 will be celebrated between the 17th and 24th of August. And the celebrations this year are likely to be even bigger than ever because August 22nd, Madras Day, marks the 375th birthday of the city. Please join the celebrations.
The Week, which started off as Madras Day 11 years ago to celebrate the founding of the city on August 22, 1639, has become virtually a Madras Month judging by the programmes last year. The celebrations this year are, like last year, likely to be spread throughout August and will carry on till the first week of September. For the small band of volunteers who catalysed this celebration and now help coordinate the programmes, the response from corporates, educational institutions and citizens of the city has given enormous satisfaction.
This year, the hotels of the city will, once again, be enthusiastic participants. Some will be venues for talks while others will host art and photographic exhibitions besides organising food festivals with Madras cuisine as their theme. Restaurant chains are also planning to celebrate Madras 375. And art galleries have taken to the event in a big way.
The Murugappa Group’s Madras Quiz for schools State-wide is now an annual event and will be the highlight of a Madras quizzing season that’s a feature of the Week. The Chennai Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is also planning several competitive programmes for schools and colleges, such as quizzes, elocution contests and debates with Madras as the focus. Mylapore Times, the Press Institute of India, the Roja Muthiah Research Library, Anglos in the Wind, United Way of Chennai, Nizhal, the Australian Consulate-General and the Goethe-Institut too are organising a wide range of events for Madras Week. And local groups in Vadapalani, Kodambakkam, Royapuram, Kilpauk and Anna Nagar are planning a variety of events. These include walks, quiz contests and other programmes. As has been the practice in past years, Chennai Heritage, publishers of Madras Musings, will be hosting eight talks at various locations on subjects related to the city. It will also lead several heritage walks in the city during the Week, as will several individuals.
Perhaps indicative of the success of Madras Week as a means of creating an awareness about the City and its heritage is the fact that more and more institutions are coming forward each year to celebrate the city. Several IT companies organised programmes last year and are planning to do more this year. So have several Clubs and Rotary Clubs. The celebrations have also spread to the suburbs such as Tiruvanmiyur, Nanganallur and Tambaram. Private apartment blocks and various societies are planning their own events. The Coordinators look forward to several more participants this year. What is heartening is the number of emails we have received from several individuals wanting to be volunteers for the Week. We will soon get in touch with each of them individually.
Participation is purely a VOLUNTARY effort by those wanting to organise programmes during the Week. The role of the informal group of coordinators is only to encourage such participation, try to organise publicity for the events, offer advice and, where possible, arrange venues. This is a first call for individuals/ groups/institutions who wish voluntarily to celebrate the founding of this city to join in. For any assistance or information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.