World Heritage Day: Virtual sessions, quizzes for your journey to the past
This World Heritage Day, April 18, celebrations are going to be different but won’t with the much needed dose of history! From virtual sessions, to contests and quizzes, groups in Delhi-NCR are doing it all to ensure that denizens get to mark the day even while at the comfort of their homes. Due to the prevailing Covid situation, all centrally protected monuments/sites under Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been closed until May 15, which prompted history enthusiasts to curate activities online, and raise awareness about our heritage.
“I am organising multiple virtual sessions with different groups. In all these, I’ll be highlighting lesser know heritage buildings, which created history,” says Vikramjit Singh Rooprai, author-heritage activist, who had initially planned a bike ride from Tughlaqabad Fort and had to cancel it due to the weekend curfew restrictions in Delhi. He says this won’t stop him from reaching out to people virtually. “Our generation must see India beyond the handful popular sites. Hence this is my small effort to spread awareness... In one of the sessions, I’ll be speaking about the Kangra Fort, which is India’s oldest standing fort, and is also one of the toughest to conquer. He who controlled Kangra, controlled Himalayas beyond it,” adds Rooprai.
As one can’t go out to have the usual dose of history tales, here’s a fun trivia quiz for all the heritage lovers out there. DelhiByFoot is hosting a 20-minute India Heritage Quiz for all the general knowledge enthusiasts. Ramit Mitra, founder of the group, says, “There is so much of our heritage that we are unaware of. And this quiz is all about celebrating Delhi and India’s tangible and intangible heritage. We will have a set of 10 questions each from a different state making up one hour of an exciting Instagram Live where all heritage lovers can challenge their heritage awareness, and leave their answers in the comments section. Let’s challenge the history buff in you!”
In another quiz, you can test your knowledge of India’s heritage at a virtual event that has exciting prizes to be won. Vaibhav Chauhan, chief executive officer, The Heritage Olympiad – which is organising the event in partnership with Sahapedia and UNESCO (Delhi) – says, “With the next wave of Covid, it’s important to create opportunities for the youth to engage with the heritage virtually. We need to engage with India’s intellectual and artistic heritage as not something that is frozen in time, but rather something that is open to constant engagement and reinterpretation. One way to do so is to revitalise the diverse aspects of its knowledge through education. Heritage education is not limited to just a history of thought and expression but also includes the methods of educational enquiry and its interaction with other disciplines. Anyone interested can register online and on April 18 can take the Olympiad.”
Share and spread the joy
Want to flaunt that photo at Qutub Minar? Here’s your chance. India City Walks is hosting an online contest for World Heritage Day. “We are giving away merchandises like power banks, caps and masks to mark the World Heritage Day,” says Nidhi Bansal, co-founder of the group, adding, “All you have to do is go to the Facebook page of India City Walks Festival, and share our post. Create a new post with a photo clicked by you, which could be on any theme like monument, food, art, architecture, or textile, etc. Then tag us along with three other friends, who can then post on their stories, too!”
Lounge and discuss heritage
For those of you who can travel to the NCR, share your photograph with your favourite vehicle and participate in a host of activities at the Heritage Transport Museum in Tauru, Haryana. There are also kids activities planned such as car painting, pedal car rides, VR experiences, etc. Tarun Thakral, founder of the museum, says, “Our cultural heritage is our pride. Let us all today rededicate ourselves in preserving the rich and diverse tangible and intangible heritage of our country for future generations.”
The museum is also inaugurating its Collectors Lounge, which is a dedicated private area for collectors and visitors from all walks of life to relax and discuss with the museum founder and curator on the various aspects of collecting and preserving India’s rich heritage. Witness three separate rooms showcasing various one of a kind rare non transport related objects from the 19th and 20th century. These objects include vintage lamps, antique guns, gramophone players and radios, rare pieces of art etc.
Author tweets @Nainaarora8