Watch: a Malaysia-India story of shared culture and heritage

India’s 75th Independence Day will be celebrated on Aug 15, 2022. To mark the milestone event, the Indian government - early this year - rolled out a series of 75 weeks of events, leading up to next year's grand celebration.

In conjunction with the "India 75" year-long celebrations, the High Commission of India in Malaysia has shared a special arts programme on its YouTube channel.

With a focus on the India-Malaysia cultural link from the perspective of Kuala Lumpur's cultural arts outfit Sutra Foundation, this presentation features founder Datuk Ramli Ibrahim and a number of Malaysian and Indian arts personalities, such as actor Mano Maniam and visual artist and Sutra Dance Theatre technical director Sivarajah Natarajan from Malaysia, with Aurodhan Art Gallery director Lalit Verma, dancer/choreographer Parwati Dutta and Meera Das from India.

“The programme specifically highlights the shared values and creative legacies of both the performing and visual artists of Malaysia and India, an abiding concern of Sutra Foundation. Sutra foundation, founded by Datuk Ramli Ibrahim, charted its beginning more than three-and-a-half decades ago.

"Besides being the chairman of Sutra Foundation, Ramli is a member of the Malaysia-India Heritage Group, which celebrates Malaysia-India common links in cultural history and heritage. Ramli in fact embodies the universal cultural values we share between Malaysia and India, and Sutra's continuing creative legacy gives meaning to the very name of Malaysia-India heritage,” says Mano in the video.

In 1983, Ramli established Sutra Dance Theatre, which has played a pivotal role in putting Malaysia on the map when it comes the Indian classical arts, performance and dance.

“I developed a comprehensive and progressive teaching methodology of Bharatanatyam and Odissi. Sutra soon grew a generation of Malaysia-trained multi-racial Indian classical dancers. Before long, I was able to dance together with my own dancers... and Sutra House, situated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, became a hive of creativity and experiment,” says Ramli in the video.

Ramli was conferred with the "Padma Shri" title (the fourth highest civilian award of India) by the government of India in 2018 for his contribution to the Odissi dance form.

This "India 75" video project is jointly organised by the High Commission of India and the Malaysia-India Heritage Group, with the cooperation and collaboration of Sutra Foundation.

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