The International Festival of Sacred Arts, Delhi 5 to 9 March 2010


january 2010 programmes


saturday 2nd january
India International Centre Main Auditorium
6.30 pm ‘Spicing up the European Imagination: The Impact of Indo Arab Trade on the European Kitchen’ a talk by Nayan Chanda 

sunday 3rd jan
1 to 3pm “Food Meditation 3”, relishing the ultimate in food & revitalizing your being 

tuesday 5th january
6.30 pm ‘My Friend The Fanatic’ a talk by  Sadanand Dhume

thursday 7th January
6.30 pm “Tradition and culture in Italian Food’ a talk by Lynne Chatterton 

saturday 9th january
6.30 pm “Violin and Sitar Solos and Jugalbandhi by Anupriya on Violin and Ustad Anwar Khurshid on Sitar”

tuesday 12th january
6.30 pm “Sun Ri Sakhi, Listen O Friend!” a poetry recital in Hindi by Alka Tyagi
with a short dance performance by Anjana Rajan

thursday 14th january

6.30 pm Courtesan and Kabuki in Ukiyo-e, the Art of the Japanese Woodcut Print" an illustrated talk by Anu Jindal

saturday 16th january
6.30 pm
Classical Music - Sitar Recital by Pandit Debiprasad Chatter jee & Tabla by Shri Debasish Adhikary 

monday 18th january
India International Centre Main Auditorium

6.30 pm ‘Indian cuisine and the geopolitics of culinary knowledge’ a talk by Zilkia Janer





Along the Spice Routes of the World

Indian 'chicken tikka masala is now the national dish of Great Britain and any day now Mcdonalds in the US will be launching their newest culinary invention 'McAloo Tikki Burger'. Almost everyday there is a new book on Indian cooking and this series will celebrate the vast diversity that is Indian Cuisine and its international influences. We will explore history with 'Cooking of the Maharajas', geography with 'Cooking under the Raj', literature with 'Mistress of Spices', travel with the cooking along the Grand Trunk Road, globalization with 'Bound Together' and medicine with Ayurvedic cooking.

This series of 12 lectures is brought to you by The India International Centre and The Attic. Some lectures will be followed by a dinner relevant to the subject.


saturday 2nd january
India International Centre Main Auditorium
6.30 pm ‘Spicing up the European Imagination: The Impact of Indo Arab Trade on the European Kitchen’ a talk by Nayan Chanda

In May 1498, an associate of Vasco da Gama was stopped at the quay in Calicut and asked why he was in India. “We came to look for spices and Christians,” he replied.

Spice has in fact been attracting foreign traders to India since Roman times.  According to popular belief, Europeans sought Indian spices to make their unfrozen meat more palatable. In fact, the aroma of spices, more than its piquant taste, cast a strong spell on the European imagination, which saw it as a divine product sent to earth to carry a taste of paradise. The romanticism associated with spices – the mystery of its origins, the allure of its remote provenance and the supposed dangers involved in collecting them – made  the Europeans more willing to pay the high prices demanded by Arab traders and intermediaries. For fifteen hundred years, until the Europeans found the direct ocean route to where spices are grown, Indo-Arab traders enjoyed a monopoly in supplying the magic ingredients that inspired European chefs to dream up rich and fragrant recipes offering a taste of  Paradise. Nayan Chanda will give an illustrated presentation on the rise of European fascination with spice and its culinary and commercial impact.

Nayan Chanda is Director of Publications, Yale Centre for the Study of Globalization and editor Yale Global Online. He is former editor of The Far Eastern Economic Review and The Asian Wall Street Journal Weekly. He has also covered the Vietnam war and its violent aftermath as a reporter which resulted in his 1986 book ‘Brother Enemy: The War After the War.'’
His book ‘Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers and Warriors Shaped Globalization’ was published last year.

This lecture will be followed by dinner organized by The India International Centre under the supervision of Magda Singh and Dr. Raffi Aslanian , Food, Health, International Trade & Tourism .  Reservations can be made by IIC members only 24619431





Non Vegetarian


Chicken Shawerma (Live)

Sambousek (Lamb)

Samak Bala Hasak (Fish)






Minted Cabbage


Hummus & Pita



Cottage Cheese Shawerma (Live)

Cheese & Spinach Pie

Bata Metaffaye

Aubergine Imam

Fasuliyye Bilzait



Pita Bread




Om Ali



(Rs. 450/- + 10% S.C. + 12.5% V.A.T.)





sunday 3rd jan
1 to 3pm “Food Meditation 3”, relishing the ultimate in food & revitalizing your being 

Through the earlier two food meditation sessions, participants have explore eating together silently, relishing the food and the silence, a day of simple prayerful eating; with others and with oneself. The third session of the Food Meditation will again bring together this environment and opportunity. Trying to get our roots back again into our lives, this is a process about reviving the simple and sacred act of eating which was sometime a part of our own home cultures. 

Today we will be preparing a high protein diet, called Horse Gram, which is referred to as Kulath or Gahath in the mountains of Uttarakhand. It is a high protein food , which has a warm nature and is an enriching energy source for the body. As the Popular knowledge of the mountains tells us, the seeds of Kulath germinate at a very fast pace, and even if conditions are least favorable , the seeds grow into a strong plant nevertheless. 

Followed by the process of eating, we will be discussing and exchanging more about mindful eating and the process of meditating with food in itself. 

Important Information: There will be no verbal exchange during meditation and cell phones will need to be switched off.

Participation is by registration on payment only. Telephone The Attic 9911950530 or email  Charges Students Rs 25. Others Rs 100.
Only 15 participants. No walk-ins please.


tuesday 5th january
6.30 pm ‘My Friend The Fanatic’ a talk by  Sadanand Dhume

My Friend the Fanatic is a portrait of the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia, a land once synonymous with tolerance that finds itself in the midst of a profound shift toward an assertive Islamic orthodoxy. This portrait is painted through the travels of a pair of unlikely protagonists. Sadanand Dhume, the author, is a foreign correspondent, an Indian atheist with a fondness for literary fiction and an interest in economic development. His companion, Herry Nurdi, is a young Islamist who hero worships Osama bin Laden.

Dhume’s quest to understand the ongoing radicalization of Indonesia gives My Friend the Fanatic the contours of a travelogue. His attachment to the country’s fading culture of pluralism and the inherent tension of his friendship with Herry supply the emotional undertow of a memoir. Both strands come together to answer the same question: how does a society go from broad inclusiveness to shrill intolerance in the space of a generation?

Sadanand Dhume is a writer and journalist who divides his time between Washington, DC and New Delhi. His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy and Commentary. He has appeared on CNN, PBS, NPR, BBC World, and Al Jazeera. Dhume holds graduate degrees from Princeton and Columbia, and a bachelor’s from the University of Delhi. My Friend the Fanatic is his first book. It has been published in Australia, the United States, Indonesia and India.


thursday 7th january
6.30 pm “Tradition and culture in Italian Food’ a talk by Lynne Chatterton

                                        Brillat Savarin said "Show me what you eat and I'll tell you what you are" - and someone else said "Most people eat to live but the French live to eat" - well, I can say from experience that to Italians life is eating.

To an Italian, food represents family, hospitality, joy and pleasure, sharing and loving.  It is not just the ingredients - although these are treasured and celebrated.  Italians would rather have guests at their table than not. To eat alone is sadness.

Growing food is being part of nature and an essential human activity.  Seasons are marked by what can be sown or harvested.  The movements of moon and sun are read by Italians to guide them with the management of farms and gardens.

Cooking is never a chore, but always a pleasure.  And cooking with family, relatives and friends is best of all.  Consider spending summer holidays cooking huge meals for fifty or more people, yet that is what many Italian women and men happily do every summer as they produce pasta, pizza, breads and dolce to make their summer festas memorable for all those who attend them.

Growing food is a passion and fresh food is valued above any pretty packed novelty lurking on supermarket shelves. Food is small talk, serious discussion, a focus of study, sometimes argument. Is this the result of past poverty or is it something innate in Italian culture? And has zero population changed the Italian attitude to food? 

Lynne Chatterton, is the author of "Sustainable Dryland Farming" (CUP). a book about farmers and their successes in growing wheat and sheep in semi-arid regions of the world, and "Red Herrings"  a memoir about life, food and farming. She grew up in Australia with the desert on one side of her village and the great River Murray on the other.  She lived on an irrigated fruit farm, then married a wheat/sheep farmer, experienced political life from the inside, travelled widely, wrote and spoke regularly about food - from how food is grown, marketed, sold and cooked, to how food policy is made.   Now writing "Cooking without Fear" - a book connecting what we cook in our homes with current world crises of climate change, water conflicts, diminishing fish stocks, declining and eroded farmland, and globalised trade.  How, in spite of these threats, home cooking can bring us pleasure and satisfaction.

She has lived in Central Italy for twenty years, outside a small mountain village, growing and cooking the food about which she writes.

saturday 9th january
6.30 pm “Violin and Sitar Solos and Jugalbandhi by Anupriya on Violin and Ustad Anwar Khurshid on Sitar”

Anupriya is an outstanding exponent of classical North Indian violin. She has developed a unique style blending the elements of ‘gayaki’ (vocal) and ‘tantanakari’ (instrumental rhythmic patterns) and combining the traditions of Sarangi and Violin for which the ‘Dilli’ Gharana of music is justly famous. She has been described by critics as having “a keen aesthetic sense with a flawless bowing technique” and she infuses subtle nuances and a great deal of imagination in her work.

A disciple of legendary Sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan, Anupriya had also received guidance from the great Sarod maestroes Pandit Mukesh Sharma and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and renowned Sitar maestro Ustad Shahid Parvez.  She has worked with musicians from France, Germany, Spain and the Reunion Islands on her own style of fusion music and performed ‘Jugalbandhis’ with Pandit Mukesh Sharma on Sarod and Ustad Shafqat Ali Khan, renowned vocalist of Pakistan.   

She has received a senior fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India and has won awards in Pakistan. She has performed in many European countries as well as in the Middle East, Singapore and Japan. In 2008 she went on an ICCR organized trip to Tunisia, Malta, Egypt and Israel.     

Anupriya has performed creditably at various major concerts in India, Spain, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Canada, UK, Reunion, Russia, Latvia, Singapore, Japan, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Nepal, Hungary, Slovenia and Pakistan. Anupriya is the first Indian classical female musician to be recorded for a program by the Pakistan Television. 

In July - August 2008 she performed in Tunisia, Malta, Egypt and Israel through Indian Council of Cultural Relations. Anupriya has a large number of CD recordings to her credit, which include India Calling and Call of Horizons released in Germany and Holland. She has also founded the Ameer Khusro Centre for Music to promote awareness, knowledge and the cultural value of Indian Classical Music among the youth of India.

Anwar Khurshid lives in Canada and is the director of Sitar School of Toronto.

His musical education started early. He taught himself the flute at the age of ten and soon after under the guidance of Ustad Arif Jaffery, began performing live for Peshawar radio station. In 1980, he began formal study of sitar under the tutelage of the late Ustad Nasirudin. After Ustad Nasirudin passed away, Anwar Khurshid began studying Tabla under Ustad Muhammad Tufail Khan and developed a strong background in tabla and a keen sense of rhythm which is evident in his sitar playing to this day. Ustad Qazi Zahoor ul Haq, Ustad Zahid Farani, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Ustad Ghulam Hyder Khan have been major influences on his music.

Since 1997 Anwar learnt Sitar under the guidance of Ustad Shahid Parvez in Canada. He performs regularly in India, Pakistan, the US and Canada.



tuesday 12th january
6.30 pm “Sun Ri Sakhi, Listen O Friend!” a poetry recital in Hindi by Alka Tyagi
with a short dance performance by Anjana Rajan


Aankhon mein ho saanjh ka sooraj
Ganga se Batiyata
Kaano mein koi bansiwala Door khada ho Gaata
Haathon mein hon Phool
Tumhein Samarpit karne ko
Hothon pe koi aisi baat
Jisse Jeevan Khilta ho

In the Indian aesthetic tradition, Sakhi (female friend) is someone with whom one can share the innermost secrets of the self and the soul. Regardless of caste, class or gender, Sakhi is someone on whom one can rely and depend upon without any fear of ridicule or rejection. Sakhi is a confidante and Indian literature, poetry, music and dance reverberate with the concept (for it is as much a concept as a person) of Sakhi. From ancient Tamil ‘Akam’ or love poetry through Sanskrit drama to medieval Bhakti poetry, the concept of Sakhi has seen much transition. However the essential meaning of Sakhi as a friend, confidante and even accomplice of ‘naayika’ or the heroine has left a deeper impress upon the Indian mind. Figure of Radha in the Krishna Lila tradition is the most beautiful spiritual representation of Sakhi.

Sun Ri Sakhi, Listen O Friend! is a poetry recitation by Alka Tyagi from her recent collection of Hindi poems. It contains a series of poems written as dialogue to an imaginary friend addressed as Sakhi. These poems invoke the necessary human connection that is on the verge of extinction in the apartment ghettoes and automobiles of modern metropolitan life. These poems indicate a paradigm shift to a world of compassion, love, sharing and communication. Well known Bharatnatyam dancer Anjana Rajan is choreographing some of the poems in the series.

Alka Tyagi teaches English Literature at Dyal Singh (eve) College, University of Delhi, and has a doctoral degree on the subject, “Intersemiotic Transformations: A Study of the Poetry of Two Medieval Saint Poetesses Akka Mahadevi and Andal.” She is a renowned Yoga exponent and teacher and has been invited to conduct workshops in India and abroad. Her poetry is inspired by philosophical concepts of love and life, peace and endurance.

Anjana Rajan is a Bharatanayam dancer trained at Kalakshetra, Chennai. Currently she works in New Delhi for the national daily, The Hindu. Her interest in dance, theatre, poetry and the colours of the inner world converge in this collaborative effort with Alka.


Raat gaye phir
Kheench liya kaanha ne
Raas Rang ke gahre ghere mein
Laaj Chitak uthi chunri se
Sari ke ghoomar bikhar gaye
Tan ke khaanche mein pighal pighal
Janmon ke arman nikal gaye



thursday 14th january
6.30 pm Courtesan and Kabuki in Ukiyo-e, the Art of the Japanese Woodcut Print" an illustrated talk by Anu Jindal 

Ukiyo-e or “pictures of the floating world” is the art form which flourished in the Edo period (17th to 19th century) in Japan, when a new urban society emerged, effecting a dramatic cultural transformation. Though also a school of painting, the popularity of the the woodcut print was such, that the term ukiyo-e became synonymous with the printed picture. Enjoyed by the common townspeople, the themes in demand were a reflection of the preoccupations of the time, encouraging images of the Courtesans and beautiful women, who were the trendsetters of the day, life in the pleasure quarters in the pursuit of enjoyment and representations of the highly popular Kabuki theatre with its repertoire of animated actors. Also included were episodes from popular legends and landscapes of famous sites, scenes of Mt. Fuji and the city of Edo (present day Tokyo) being especially admired. Marked by striking imagery and a vibrant colour palette, ukiyo-e prints found their way to Europe too and made a substantial impact on the artists of the Impressionist school.  

Anu Jindal is an art historian, artist and professor with a Ph.D. in Japanese Art from the National Museum Institute, New Delhi. As a Japan Foundation Fellow she did a one year research stint at Doshisha University, Kyoto. She writes on and has taught Art & Design for over 15 years at National Institute of Fashion Technology and School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi. Several of her art exhibitions have featured works inspired by Japanese art and culture including “Indian Hanami” at the Japan Foundation, an event of the Japan-India Friendship Year 2007. Presently she is Visiting Research Scholar at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto, her area of research being Ukiyo-e. Her soon to be published papers include her pioneering research, on “Contemporary Art Exchanges between Japan and India” under the aegis of her present organization and “Aesthetics and Technique of Ukiyo-e” presented at the International Ukiyo-e symposium in Tokyo in november 2009.


saturday 16th january
6.30 pm
Classical Music - Sitar Recital by Pandit Debiprasad Chatter jee & Tabla by Shri Debasish Adhikary


Pandit Debi Prasad Chatterjee is a distinguished  Sitarist and a highly regarded teacher of Indian Classical Music.
Born in Calcutta, hailing from a family of rich cultural and musical heritage he developed a distinct and unique style of his own after receiving initial training from his elder brother Late Pandit Biswanath Chatterjee and Late Pandit Aparesh Chatterjee and subsequently for 20 years from the Legendary Sitar Maestro Late Pandit Nikhil Banerjee and also from  Smt. Annapurna Devi. Since 1986, he became the “Ganda Bandhan Disciple” of the World Famous Maestro and Living Legend Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.

Pandit Chatterjee belongs to the Senia Maihar Gharana and has been performing in major Music Concerts all over India and abroad. In India, he was invited to perform in all major Music Conferences and  overseas in  the U.S.,  Australia, Canada, UK and Europe.


He has received the President's and  ‘Sur Mani’ awards.   He was  head of department of instrumental music and percussion at Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta and has conducted numerous workshops and demonstrations on Hindustani Music & its techniques - at many Universities and Institutions in India and abroad. He is  the author of the  book “Sitar - Sekal Ekal” (Sitar’s Past and Present). The book presents the history of Sitar and it’s gradual transformation over the years; explains the anatomy of Sitar; basics of tuning the instrument; relationship of different “Ragas” with life, choice of Raga with season and time of day . He has been on the selection committees of Delhi and Banaras universities as well as the audition committees for All India Radio and Doordarshan.

Debi Prasad Chatterjee has released numerous CDs and has played  the background scores for some  Hindi movies - Aradhana, Kati Patang and Amar Prem.

Debashish Adhikari  is a tabla player, lecturer and a disciple of Ustad Karamat Ullah Khan of the Farrukhabad Gharana. As a professional artist he has been awarded ” Sangeet Prabhakar” from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad,  “Sangeet Praveen” from Sur Bharti Sangeet Parishad and “Talmani” by Sur Singar Samsad , Mumbai.. He has performed at  many festivals all over India. He is currently the Tabla teacher of the DAV school in Delhi and an examiner of Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh




monday 18th january
India International Centre Main Auditorium

6.30 pm ‘Indian cuisine and the geopolitics of culinary knowledge’ a talk by Zilkia Janer

Even though chicken Tikka Masala is supposedly England’s favorite dish, and Indian restaurants and cookbooks can be found all over the planet, the self-proclaimed arbiters of good taste in the world do not include Indian cuisine as an equal partner in the high end of global gastronomy.  Most Indian restaurant enthusiasts in the West still see it as no more than an inexpensive and limited menu of spicy dishes whose main ingredient is a non-descript “curry powder.”  Gastronomic writers either totally exclude Indian cuisine from global culinary histories, or portray it as strictly determined by religious food restrictions and successive colonizations.  These views limit India’s contribution to the global culinary landscape to the realm of nature (as the land of spices and exotic fruits), and reduce its culture to that of passive receiver of knowledge produced elsewhere.  Indian culinary culture has to be recognized as an active and creative agent that has transformed external influences according to its own aesthetic and epistemological principles.  This presentation explains how achieving this goal entails a frontal challenge to the Eurocentric analytical categories that rule the modern understanding of gastronomy.   

 Zilkia Janer is Associate Professor of Global Studies at Hofstra University in New York.  Her publications include the book Latino Food Culture, and a number of articles on South Asian cuisines.  Her current book project on the geopolitics of culinary knowledge has been inspired by her research and experience of diverse Indian culinary traditions during extended stays in India.  She is partially based in Guwahati.


Forthcoming Lectures 2009 - 2010 






       Title of Talk



Prof. Zilkia Janer

Associate Professor of Global Studies at Hofstra University in New York

Indian Cusine and the geopolitics of Culinary Knowledge


8 Feb

Dr Vinod Verma

Director, The New Way Health Organization .NOW . Author Ayurvedic Food Culture and Recipies

Healing Foods: the Ayurvedic Tradition



David Housego

Journalist and Chairman Shades of India

Raj Cooking and the spread of Indian cuisine in Britain



Salma Husain

Persian scholar and food connoisseur

Turkish, Persian & Afghan cooking and

its influence on Mughal Cuisine

Consultants to the series Pushpesh Pant, Jasleen Dhamija, Prabeen Grewal.
                 Cooking Utensils Exhibition IIC Annexe 26 April to 2 May 2010