A new full-fledged Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) opened its doors to the public in São Paulo on 25th May 2011 to showcase India’s rich heritage and promote multilayered cultural exchanges between the peoples of India and Brazil. The establishment of the Centre is an important initiative of the Government of India, in keeping with the high priority it attaches to its bilateral relations with Brazil. It will give India’s cultural presence in Brazil a major fillip and constitutes an important dimension in the friendly partnership between the two countries.
The Indian Cultural Centre is the Cultural Wing of the Consulate General of India São Paulo and has dedicated staff to look after its day to day activities. It is administered by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), an autonomous organization of the Ministry of External Affairs of India, which promotes intercultural exchanges by taking `India to the world and bringing the world to India`.
Located in the prestigious area of Jardins, the Indian Cultural Centre is at the heart of the cultural life of São Paulo, offering a wide and interesting range of cultural services and performances to its patrons. It is spread over three floors housing a multipurpose hall, auditorium with stage, a library and kitchen for Gastronomy classes. All events at the Indian Cultural Centre are free of charge and open to the general public.
The Indian Cultural Centre has a well-stocked Library. Qualified local teachers offer classes in Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Odissi, and Yoga during the week. Library services can be availed after registration (please see last paragraph) and various classes can be enrolled in though there may be waiting list given capacity limitation and those ahead in the queue.
The Indian Cultural Centre facilities are open to all persons interested in learning about India and preserving, promoting and enriching Indian culture, values and heritage. The Centre places special emphasis on working with local cultural organizations promoting Indian culture. While hosting leading artistes and cultural troupes from India, the Indian Cultural Centre also offers its premises for suitable use by the Brazilian artistes, academics, writers and performers for furthering India-Brazil cultural relations. Those desirous may apply by obtaining the Form from the ICC Or Download/Print the Form : ( Click here). Completed Form should be submitted at the ICC well in advance of the date for which the facilities are solicited.
Timings: The Indian Cultural Centre is open from Monday to Friday, from 11h00 to 21h00 (with meal break from 16h00-17h00).
Address: Alameda Sarutaiá, 380, Jardim Paulista, CEP 01403-010. São Paulo - SP
Telephone: +55 11 3149-3340
Scholarships for Indian Studies
Government of India offers scholarships for studies in Indian art, dance, music, drama etc. There are, as of now, for Brazilians, two slots.
Details including guidelines for these scholarship are at: http://www.iccr.gov.in/content/general-scholarships-gcss
The list of institutions for Dance/Music is at http://www.iccr.gov.in/content/dancemusic-institutions
And for other courses where ICCR´s scholars usually secure admission is at:
LIBRARY AND RESOURCE CENTRE
The Library and Resource Centre at the Indian Cultural Centre houses an interesting collection of the books on Indian history, polity, economy, art and culture. It has a particularly exciting collection of books on contemporary Indian literature. There is a large reference section with encyclopedias, dictionaries and coffee table books. While the bulk of the books are in English, there are a substantial number of Hindi and Portuguese books too. Members are allowed to borrow two books for a period of two weeks.
Yoga is a ‘science of right living’ which seeks to attain physical, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual wellbeing of the person. The ICC offers classes in Yoga that concentrate on physical health and mental well-being. Yoga uses bodily postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), meditation (dhyana) and cleansing processes (kriyas). Yoga postures stretch and align the body and are particularly good for promoting balance and flexibility.
Kathak is one of the eight major classical Indian dance forms and is the principal classical dance of North India. The word kathak means "to tell a story" and is derived from the dance dramas of ancient India. During the Mughal era, there was a change in emphasis from that of telling religious stories to one of entertainment. Today, the dance is an abstract exploration of rhythm and movement, involving complex footwork and pirouettes executed at lightning speed, matched by accompanying percussion instruments such as the table and pakhawaj. Lucknow, Jaipur and Banaras are recognized as the three schools of Kathak where the interpretative and rhythmic aspects of the dance have been refined to a very high standard.
Odissi originated from the state of Orissa in Eastern India from where it derives its name, is one of the classical dance forms of India. The Natya Shastra calls it Odra-Magadhi and it has sculptural beauty and in combination with strong and vigorous steps, marked by its Tribhangi (literally: three parts break), and Chouka that symbolizes Lord Jagannath, a form of Krishna worshiped in one of the main sacred spots of Orissa and in the whole India. Bhanga, Abanga, Atibhanga and Tribhanga. The history of Odissi dance has been traced to an early sculptures found in the Ranigumpha caves at Udaygiri (Orissa), dating to the 2nd century BCE. Odissi appears to be the oldest classical dance rooted in rituals and tradition. In fact, the NatyaShastra refers to Odra-Magadhi as one of the Vrittis and Odra refers to Orissa.
A solo classical Indian dance mostly found in southern India form of religious origin believed to be more than 3.000 years old and was once performed by Hindu temple dancers, or devadasis. Much of its traditional repertoire derives from the early part of the 19th century when four brothers, known as the Tanjore Quartet, codified it. Traditional performances can last up to three hours. The emphasis in the choreography is on the upper body, and the style is distinguished by its low centre of gravity, its rhythmic footwork, its straight spine, and its extensive vocabulary of hand gestures which carry dramatic meaning. The face is also used for expressive purposes, with the eyes, nose, and mouth all possessing their own specific choreographic language. The dance is in six parts, beginning with alarippu, which invokes the deity and greets the audience. The style incorporates all three aspects of Indian dance: nrtta (abstract, pure, and rhythmic),nrtya (expressive, rhythmic, and narrative), and natya (pure storytelling, a combination of song and dance). The performance ends with tillana, a purely rhythmic coda designed to showcase the dancer's mastery of complex rhythms. The dancer wears a silk sari, usually decorated with gold, and her feet are bare, although bells are worn around the ankle.
Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language with about 487 million speakers. It is one of the official languages of India and is the main language used in the northern states of Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana,Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar, and is spoken in much of north and central India alongside other languages such as Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi or Bengali. In other parts of India, as well as in Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, Hindi is understood. In Fiji people of Indian origin speak Hindi, and in some areas the Fijian people also speak it.
Hindi is closely related to Urdu, the main language of Pakistan, which is written with the Arabic script, and linguists consider Standard Hindi and Standard Urdu to be different formal registers both derived from the Khari Boli dialect, which is also known as Hindustani. Apart from the difference in writing systems, the other main difference between Hindi and Urdu is that Hindi contains more vocabulary from Sanskrit, while Urdu contains more vocabulary from Persian. At an informal spoken level there are few significant differences between Urdu and Hindi and they could be considered varieties a single language.
Hindi first started to be used in writing during the 4th century AD. It was originally written with the Brahmi script but since the 11th century AD it has been written with the Devanāgarī alphabet. The first printed book in Hindi was John Gilchrist's Grammar of the Hindoostanee Language which was published in 1796.
Hindi classes are at present discontinued at the ICC but efforts are on to restart the classes at an early date.
REGISTRATION FOR REGULAR CLASSES
Application/Registration Forms for classes will be available at the beginning of the academic session in Jan/Feb every year. An individual can register with Indian Cultural Centre by submitting the following documents:
a. Completed Registration/Application form (provided at the beginning of the academic session every year)
b. One 3X4cm photograph
c. Photocopy of RG / Driver License / Passport (for foreigners)
The member would become eligible to enroll himself/herself for the regular classes undertaken at the Centre.