Madras Week, which started off as Madras Day seven years ago to celebrate the founding of the city on 22nd August 1639, may well become Madras Fortnight this year, if not Madras Month. This year though Madras Week will be celebrated between the 15th and the 22nd of August it looks like the celebrations will begin by the second week of August itself and carry on till the 31st. For the small band of volunteers who began this concept, the response from corporate and public citizens of the city has given enormous satisfaction.
This year, the hotels of the city will, as usual be enthusiastic participants. To begin with the Taj Group of Hotels, The Park, Green Park, The Raintree and others will be hosting various programmes. More hotels are expected to join. We are hoping that they will also host exhibitions and organise food festivals. Schools with heritage clubs are already talking about hosting events and competitions centring on the city as their theme.
As has been the practice in past years, Madras Musings will be hosting eight talks at various locations, on subjects related to the city. Some of our speakers are high-profile individuals of the city who will share their experiences of living in this metropolis. We are also hoping that like last year, we will be able organise talks in North Chennai as well.
Plenty of heritage walks are being organised this year. Some of the walks will be down Mount Road, Broadway, Vepery, First Line Beach (Rajaji Salai), the Chenna Kesava and Chenna Malleeswara Swami temples. We are also planning a unique tour of George Town at night.
Mylapore Times, led by Vincent D’Souza will be organising a wide range of events for Madras Week. These will include walks, quiz contests and talks. Sashi Nair has been our man for West Chennai. He has been organising events in that part of the city at the Green Park Hotel and other venues such as the Jaigopal Garodia School. We are sure that he has very many interesting events planned this year too.
INTACH will be focusing on events for schools in connection with Madras Week This year, the Max Mueller Bhava- Goethe Institut and the Alliance Francaise are planning a series of events to commemorate Madras Week. In addition a whole host of other organisations such as Rotary Clubs and bodies such as the Indo American Association are planning out their own events. A series of music and dance programmes will be planned at the Freemasons Hall in Egmore and will be hosted by Madras Musings. The Roja Muthiah Research Library will be organising talks during Madras during the week. As these lines are being written, more events are being discussed and finalised.
A few people interested in the history of Madras that is Chennai have been responsible for encouraging the celebration of the founding of the city by schools, colleges, various organisations and groups of like-minded individuals. 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 and, where possible, arrange venues. Growing from about 15 events in the first year, last year’s celebrations included about 100 programmes, including talks, quizzes, exhibitions and performances, all centred on
the theme ‘Madras’.
We are putting out this information well ahead so that organisations/individuals/ volunteer groups who wish to celebrate the founding of this city can have ample time to plan their events. Madras Musings can provide advisory help where needed. Further details will be regularly updated on the site http://www.themadrasday.in For any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com