18.00 - 18.30: The practices of Courtship and the arts of seduction by Dr Seema Anand
Dr Seema will be speaking on the practices of Courtship and the arts of seduction - a narrative that has metamorphosed as its vocabulary evolves and implications change.
Like most ancient philosophies, Hindu belief is centred on 'Sakti' or female energy which encompassed the entire cycle of birth and death and everything in between. It states that sexual energy is the highest form of energy and to harness it was to generate the ultimate power.
So the arts of seduction were about building up, optimising and harnessing the energy of the mind, the body and the spirit. 'Sakti' or the goddess was worshipped because of her ultimate power, her ability to produce life. With time, patriarchy and external influences, these stories have morphed. The Goddess has been domesticated. She wears beautiful clothes, is fettered in jewellery and valued for her pristine aspect.
Today's talk looks at the arts of seduction that were treated in ancient treatises as high philosophy, a profound subject with divine and academic associations.
18.30 - 19.00: The metamorphosis of different languages into a shared expression of respect and care within the family and in society at large.
When any foreigner, i.e. a non-native Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, Panjabi or Urdu speaker attends a wedding or a funeral or any social function in the Indian subcontinent, he/she is astonished at the number of guests. He/she assumes that the host is a very popular person to have so many friends/relatives. Unfortunately, the guest is usually not familiar with relationships in the culture where the above languages are spoken. In learning above languages, it is essential to go beyond the usual English uncle/aunt, in-laws, and brother/sister -in-law scenario.
Colleagues from the MLC will be speaking on the meaning of family and will share their own experiences.