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PT 2017: Current Affairs at a glance (Art and Culture)
Jun 14, 2017

1. Harikatha

  • It is a form of hindu religious discourse.
  • The main aim of Harikatha is to imbibe righteousness and truth in the minds of the people.
  • It has its roots in the kirtan tradition of Maharashtra.
  • It includes music, storytelling, dance, drama and philosophy.
  • Any religious topic can be its theme.
  • To imbue truth and righteousness in the minds of people.

2. Alpana folk art of Bengal

  • Mainly done on the floor and the walls of the house.
  • The painting was done with hands (fingers are the brush) and the paint is mainly a paste comprising of rice flour.
  • The motifs drawn are ritualistic images from mythology and scriptures.
  • Alpana was drawn by women of the house before the sunset.
  • It is considered to ward off evil spirits and was specifically drawn on special occasions such as festivals or weddings

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3. Kalamkari Painting

  • Kalamkari literally means, Kalam - pen & kari - work, i.e., art work done using a pen.
  • It is an ancient style of hand painting done on cotton or silk fabric with a tamarind pen using natural dyes.
  • This colourful art dates back to more than 3000 B.C.
  • The traditional style of Kalamkari flourished in Kalahasti (80 miles north of Chennai) and Masulipatnam (200 miles east of Hyderabad).
  • The paintings at that time used to depict Hindu Deities and scenes from Hindu mythology.
  • Masulipatnam being a Muslim region, the weavers were involved in block printing art.

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  • There are two distinctive styles of kalamkari art in India - the Srikalahasti style and the Machilipatnam style. 
  • The Srikalahasti style of kalamkari, wherein the "kalam" or pen is used for free hand drawing of the subject and filling in the colors, is entirely hand worked. This style flowered around temples and their patronage and so had an almost religious identity - scrolls, temple hangings, chariot banners and the like, depicted deities and scenes taken from the Hindu epics - Ramayana, Mahabarata, Puranas and the mythological classics. This style owes its present status to Kamaladevi Chattopadhayay who popularized the art as the first Chairperson of the All India Handicrafts Board.


  • It is a metal handicraft from Bidar district of Karnataka.
  • The craft originated in Persia and came to India in the 14th century. It flourished under the Bahamani dynasty.
  • In Bidri work, zinc is the primary metal used.
  • Bidriware is characterised by its black shine which comes from the special soil used. This is black soil found in Bidri.
  • Obtained GI tag

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  • It is a unique art of jewellery making which involves embossing of intricately worked-out sheet of gold.
  • Originated about 400 years ago in the Pratapgarh district of Rajasthan.
  • The word Thewa comes from two words: Tharna meaning hammer and Vada meaning silver wire.
  • Its origin is attributed to the goldsmith Nathuji Soni who was conferred the title of Rajasoni by Raja Savant Singh of Pratapgarh.

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6.Mithila Painting

  • Also known as Madhubani painting, it is characterized by line drawing filled in with bright colours.
  • Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens and matchsticks.
  • Geometrical patterns are a characteristic feature.
  • The painting is done with mineral pigments.
  • Originally this painting was done on freshly plastered or mud wall.
  • For commercial purposes, it is now done on paper, cloth and canvas.

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7.Yoga Inscribed in the Representative List of ICHH

Inscribed as an element in the UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (ICHH)

  • Yoga has become the 13th intangible cultural heritage that has been listed from India so far with UNESCO
  • Previous ones includes the Chhau dance( Inscribed in 2010), the Buddhist chanting of Ladakh ( inscribed in 2012), Sankirtana –the ritual singing, drumming, and dancing of Manipur( inscribed in 2013), the traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab(inscribed in 2014) and Ramlila- the traditional performance of the Ramayana ( inscribed in 2008).
  • The intangible cultural heritage is transmitted from generation to generation, and is constantly recreated by communities and groups, in response to their environment, their interaction with nature, and their history.
  • It provides people with a sense of identity and continuity, and promotes respect for cultural diversity and human creativity
  • The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage defines the intangible cultural heritage as the practices, representations, expressions, as well as the knowledge and skills (including instruments, objects, artefacts, cultural spaces), that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage.
  • It is sometimes called living cultural heritage.

 8. Tangalia weaving

  • It is a 700-year-old indigenous craft which uses a unique weaving technique comprising themes made up of 'danas' or beads ranging from a few dots to a more elaborate arrangement by using cotton or wool yarn.
  • It is only practiced by the Dangasia community in Surendranagar district of Gujarat.
  • Tangalia textiles are usually worn as a shawl and wraparound skirt by the women of the Bharwad shepherd community.

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  • Tangalia shawl was given Geographical Indications recognition by the Central government in 2009

9. Bhimbethka: Pre-historic paintings (Petroglyphs) have been found in the rock shelters of Bhimbetka, a world heritage site in Madhya Pradesh and at Dharaki-Chattan(hillock) near Bhanpura in Madnasur district, MP.

10. Paleochannel: Scientists have found evidence of the mythical Chandrabhaga River near the UNESCO world heritage site of Konark Sun Temple in Odisha.


Republic Day
1. Dola Yatra or Dola Melana or Dola Festival: Odessa

  • Popular festival in the coastal districts of Orissa. 
  • Lord Jagannath is worshiped as the name of Dolagovinda in this festival.
  • On this day Oriya calendar becomes ready and it is worshiped on Dolabedi infront of Dolagovinda.
  • coincides with the Holi festival but is celebrated for six days.
  • Worshipping of Radha and Krishna in the swing festival is the main event during the six-day long festival. The festival is also known as Dola Yatra or Dola Jatra.

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2. Yak dance is one of the famous mask dances of the Buddhist tribes (Mahayana sect) of Arunachal Pradesh.

  • The masked dancer represents the members of a family who are said to have discovered the Yak with the help of a magical bird hundreds of years ago.
  • Performed during Losar festival, the dance represents the joy of the people upon finding the yak and their belief that performing the dance would relieve them of all their complications and anxieties.

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3. Lai Haroba meaning “festivities of Gods

  • An important festival of Manipur celebrated to revere the local deities such as Umang Thai.
  • The festival is in part a recollection of the creation stories played the deities with the first origin of this universe and evolution of the plants and animals through the will of Atiya Shidaba

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4. KN :Yakshagana Dance: A traditional theatre form that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form

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5. Chamba Rumal: Embrooidary in HP

An embroidered handicraft that was once promoted under the patronage of the former rulers of Chamba kingdom.

6. Karrakattakam/ Karagam: TN

  • A folk dance with musical accompaniment, performed balancing a pot on the head. 
  • Popular in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh (Garagalu) and Karnataka 

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7. Hojgiri: Tripura

  • The dance is performed on the occasion of HOJAGIRI Festivals or Laxmi puja, held in the following full moon night of  Durga puja.
  • Performed by women and young girls, about 4 to 6 members in a team, singing, balancing on an earthen pitcher and managing other props such as a bottle on the head and earthen lamp on the hand

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8. Archaeologists have spotted a prehistoric rock art site at the foothills of Ambukuthi hills in a village located in Sulthan Bathery taluk of Kerala’s Wayanad district.

9. Nilambur TEAK: 

  • Internationally known for its superior quality and elegant appearance, will soon be added to the list of Kerala produces with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag
  • Britishers who identified the superior quality of teak from Nilambur plantations and forests.
  • The region became the major supplier of quality teak in the world.
  • The timber which has superior mechanical and physical properties, aesthetic appearance, were taken to London and other parts of the world.
  • As its fame crossed the seven seas, Nilambur was christened the Mecca of Teak.
  • The Nilambur-Shoranur Railway line was laid for transporting the teak logs.


  • GIs indicate goods as originating in a specific geographical region, the characteristics, qualities or reputation thereof essentially attributable to such region. GI-branded goods possess a recall value amongst consumers who essentially attribute these characteristics, qualities or reputation to such geographical origin.
  • The GI tag is an indication which is definite to a geographical territory. It is used for agricultural, natural and manufactured goods. For a product to get GI tag, the goods need to be produced or processed or prepared in that region. It is also essential that the product has special quality or reputation.


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