Madras Week will be celebrated between the 19th and 26th 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 15 years ago to celebrate our city has become virtually a Madras Month judging by the programming in the past few years. 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 happy to note that various organisations that are active participants, such as the CP Ramaswami Aiyar Centre, Dakshinchitra, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Chennai Chapter, the Madras Naturalists’ Society, Mylapore Times, Nizhal, the Observer Research Foundation, the photography groups, The Press Institute of India, the Roja Muthiah Research Library, Stella Maris College and Yocee amongst others, have already announced their 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. Chennai Heritage will be leading several heritage walks in the city during the Week, as will several individuals.
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. A special effort is being made to host events in Tamil also, to bring about greater inclusivity in the celebrations.
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. 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