Once again, JAINpedia celebrated Diwali at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London this year. The day began with an entrance by 80 people from Leicester, organised by Kalpit Doshi from the Jain Centre, Leicester. Over 2000 people were recorded to have attended the event, which had a fun-filled programme throughout the day.
Activities included a giant snakes and ladders game, with accompanying song and dance, and some enjoyable ‘shake, shake shake’ moves. Little members of the audience were the playing pieces and rolled the giant die to achieve the position of ‘moksha’ or ‘liberation’ on the giant board.
The highlight of the program was a story-telling dance from Prakruti Dance Company, who were last seen at the JAINpedia event at the British Library in 2010. Dancers, Nilpa and Naytika Shah depicted the story of the ‘Jina’ Rsabha in an entertaining and engaging manner. Their facial expressions throughout the dance routine held the audience spellbound.
The Victoria & Albert Museum Design Team, kindly organised 2 craft activities in the Sackler Centre; Young artists created their own card Rangolis, drawing inspiration from the bold patterns found within the V&A Museum, and 2 large Community Rangolis were created from a nationwide competition held by the JAINpedia team. The Winning Rangoli, and Runner-up Rangoli from the nation wide competition were re-created in larger sizes, using grains, seeds and coloured tissue.
JAINpedia volunteers manned the JAINpedia travelling exhibition which explains the basics about Jainism, ran a children’s tour of the JAINpedia Jain manuscript and artefact display in the South Asia gallery and generally assisted visitors experience the day at the V&A. The JAINpedia display is officially set to close at the end of this year, however we hope to see it remain there until spring next year, with some changes. A must see display – do try and catch it, before it is removed!
Finally, our usual professional Rangoli artists, Shobna and Pratima Haria, created a beautiful Rangoli of the ‘Pawapuri’ temple in Bihar, India, said to be famous for being the cremation ground for the Jina ‘Mahavira’.
The event was an exciting and a ‘dazzling’ end to the JAINpedia project’s events. We hope to continue seeing visitors on the website which is still developing from strength to strength.