Announcing Madras Week 2016
Madras Week will be celebrated between the 21st and 28th of August. In the past years we have had enthusiastic city-wide celebrations with excellent support from the media, old and new. We trust that this year will be no different. The Week, which started off as Madras Day 13 years ago to celebrate our city has become virtually a Madras Month judging by the programming 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, citizens of the city, and even diplomatic missions has given enormous satisfaction.
Participation is purely a VOLUNTARY effort by those wanting to organise programmes during the Week. The role of the informal group of co-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 to join in VOLUNTARILY to celebrate the founding of our city
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 other festivals. Art galleries have also taken to this event in a big way. And so have diplomatic missions and their cultural centres.
We are certain that the various organisations that are active participants, such as the Madras Naturalists’ Society, Nizhal, the photography groups, the Observer Research Foundation, the Roja Muthiah Research Library, the CP Ramaswami Aiyar Centre, The Press Institute of India, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Chennai Chapter, Mylapore Times and Yocee amongst others, will be organising programmes. These will include walks, quiz contests and other such events. 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. The celebrations will also coincide with the silver jubilee of Madras Musings. Chennai Heritage will be leading several heritage walks in the city during the Week, as will several individuals. In the past couple of years we have seen groups being formed on documenting our rivers – the Cooum and the Adyar. We are certain they will be participating this year also.
The INTACH Chennai Chapter in particular hopes schools and colleges wishing to organise celebratory activities will get in touch with it. The last few years have seen a considerable increase in the number of schools that have initiated heritage clubs thanks to INTACH’s efforts. The current strength will definitely add volume and value to Madras Week.
Perhaps indicative of the success of Madras Week as a means of creating awareness about the City and its heritage is the number of institutions that have come 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 Social and Sports Clubs, Rotary Clubs, and cultural centres. 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. A special effort is being made to host events in Tamil also, to bring about greater inclusivity in the celebrations.
Special efforts are on to rope in celebrants in North Chennai and the assistance of volunteers in this cause would be greatly appreciated.
Those who are planning events are requested to send in details by email to the following Ids -firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Details so received will be put up on the web site http://www.themadrasday.in and also the mobile app Madras Week. In addition, a multi-page booklet with programmes will also be published and distributed closer to the date of the event by Madras Musings, whose website is http://www.madrasmusings.com
Twitter handle for the year – #MW2016 or #MadrasWeek or #MadrasWeek2016