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Celebration of India

April 27th
10:00am – 3:00pm
Includes Museum Admission
Family Friendly
The Ringling


The Ringling presents A Journey Through India, a three day festival exploring the many cultures of India. Created in collaboration with the local Indian community, the festival will celebrate Indian performance, food, dance, music, and art.

Celebration of India
Saturday, April 27 @ 10:00 AM-3:00 PM

Look forward to a day-long program of cultural exploration, including a series of lectures from scholars speaking on Indian art, literature, philosophy, and popular culture; music and dance performances by community groups; art-making and other activities for families; and a market featuring local food and artisan vendors. 

Included with Museum Admission

Featured Speakers | Time and location TBA

Rhiannon Paget
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art curator of Asian art, Rhiannon Paget, will give an overview of the museum’s collection of Indian art and its history, and the greatly anticipated exhibition The Fabric of India, coming from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum to The Ringling, July 7–October 13, 2019. 

The first works of Asian art to come into the Ringling collection were a group of Indian sculptures acquired by John and Mable Ringling in the 1920s. Since then, the collection has grown to encompass paintings, drawings, textiles, and metalwork. This presentation will introduce key objects from the Ringling’s bequest and subsequent gifts. 

The Ringling continues this history of engagement with India this summer with The Fabric of India. Showcasing over 140 objects drawn principally from the internationally renowned holdings of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum , this splendid exhibition illustrates the variety, technical sophistication, and adaptability of Indian textiles . A stunning range of historical costume, furnishings, and devotional objects and cutting-edge fashion demonstrates how Indian textiles have been interwoven with religion, politics, and global trade over the past 500 years.

Suvir Saran 
Viewing the kitchen as both a culinary and spiritual haven, New Delhi-born Top Chef Master Suvir Saran has nurtured a lifelong passion for the traditional flavors of Indian cooking, which has led him to become an accomplished chef, cookbook author, educator, and farmer. Saran’s approachable and informed style has helped to demystify Indian cuisine in America and ultimately formed American Masala, his culinary philosophy, which celebrates the best of Indian and American cooking.
Sucheta Kanjilal
Sucheta Kanjilal  will present “A Journey through Indian Literary/History,” presenting an overview of events in modern Indian history, politics, and literature using stories from the Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata. Born in New Delhi and raised in Mumbai, Kanjilal is Assistant Professor of English and Writing at the University of Tampa. She researches literature in English, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, and Sanskrit.

Sucheta Kanjilal is Assistant Professor of English and Writing at the University of Tampa. She was born in New Delhi and grew up in Mumbai, India. She received her PhD in English at the University of South Florida after a Masters degree in Comparative Literature from the University of London. She researches literatures in English, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, and Sanskrit. 

In her talk, “A Journey Through Indian Literary/History,” Kanjilal will give a broad overview of events in 20th and 21st century Indian history, politics, and literature. She will map this history using stories from the Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata. The epic has been referenced in various contemporary Indian literary texts to discuss issues such as gender, caste, and rightful rulership. The audience will learn about characters like tragic Karna, fiery Draupadi, marginalized Eklavya, and muscular Bhima to see how their (new and old) stories illuminate concerns and debates in modern India. 
Jeffery D. Long
Professor Jeffery D. Long presents “May Brahman Be with You: Star Wars and Vedanta,” exploring the many Hindu themes present in the Star Wars universe. Jeffery D. Long is Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College, in Elizabethtown, PA.

Jeffery D. Long is Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Elizabethtown College, in Elizabethtown Pennsylvania, where has taught since receiving his PhD from the University of Chicago in the year 2000.  Dr. Long is the author of A Vision for Hinduism, Jainism: An Introduction, The Historical Dictionary of Hinduism, the editor of the volume Perspectives on Reincarnation: Hindu, Christian, and Scientific, and co-editor of the Buddhism and Jainism volumes of the Encyclopedia of Indian Religions.  He has presented in numerous venues in the US, India, and Europe, and in 2018, he received the Hindu American Foundation’s Dharma Seva Award for his work to promote a better understanding of Hinduism in the American media and educational system.

“May Brahman Be with You: Star Wars and Vedanta”: Star Wars is not only an incredibly popular film series. It has also served as a conduit by which concepts from Indian philosophical and religious traditions have entered into the American and the global public consciousness. This talk will explore the many Hindu themes present in the Star Wars universe.  From the Force to meditation to the dangers of worldly attachment, a variety of both Hindu and Buddhist concepts can be discerned in the Star Wars films.  This talk will explore these concepts and the ways in which they have been adapted to tell an engrossing and exciting story that has engaged millions of fans worldwide.