UK museum assistant Karen Emma White, who has been on a two week visit to Chandigarh and Amritsar to study Sikh culture, feels that she has made connections for collaborative works with the museums here.
"I’ve made new connection for participation and museums here are equally positive and keen to collaborate with museums in England. Yes we have definitely developed partnership. This is just the beginning of the work," she said.
Explaining about the collaborations, White said that we have talked on how we can utilise the internet, which is a cheap medium, to connect with each other.
"We have talked about how we can use images in their collection, that can be emailed to us and we can digitalise and use them. The purpose of my visit was not to raid things but on making connections for collaborative work."
Karen who was here to research on Maharaja Ranjit Singh and maharaja Duleep Singh in particular, said: "The visit has helped me to understand the Indian perspective on both Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Maharaja Duleep Singh. Talking to different people made me understand how they feel about his story. I have digital copies of Ranjit Singh things and various images from Digital Library that I will be using for display. There is not much stuff related to maharaja Duleep Singh here," she added.
She was also impressed to meet people and to know about certain on going projects at the museums here.
"There is an ongoing project at the Gobindgarh fort where they are planing to provide people an opportunity to camp within the premises of the fort. It's a fantastic idea as lots if foreign tourist come to Amritsar."
"I met Gurmeet Rai, a conservation architect who was positive in terms of collaboration with Ancient House. She is interested in a project on sikh heritage, in which her idea is to include WW1 sites in France and sikh battles in India and add it to the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail in Birmingham. We have an anglo-sikh month in September there and if this project takes off it will be great."
"We went to Punjab digital library. That is really an innovative project. They have a great cataloging system. At the Art Council in Chandigarh, I was pleased to know that they organise an art festival annually, "she added.
Love for Phulkari
" I went with Jaswinder Kaur to learn Phulkari. I've filmed the process and would teach the embroidery ladies at the Ancient House so that we can make one for display at our museum, "she said.
'Amritsar needs to keep its charm'
"I started my visit with Amritsar Heritage Walk and I got to see the real Amritsar. I went to Wagah border and I simply loved it. But there is no planned programme there. There is more to that city. What is needed is sympathetic project planning. It needs to keep it charms, which is fast disappearing," she said.