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An Amazing Cultural Paradise - Sarang
  • May 2012

Lush green foliage, whisper­ing palms, whistling of birds, paddy fields and fresh air and totally isolated rural life wel­comes you amidst greenery. Cool breeze touches on your face and mind and rejuvenate your body and soul. The Sarang welcomes you to know the rural village life and cultural exploration to foster peace and understanding across man-made borders. Knowing and exchanging traditions and tradi­tional art forms simply happens here through the two generations of Sarang.

As its name signifies, Sarang Cultural Exchange Center primarily aims at propagation and exchange of different cultures. In today’s increasingly violent world, an understand­ing and acceptance of different cultures is the only way to peaceful co-existence. Also, the existence and growth of any art form does not solely depend on the performer. A knowledgeable audi­ence who can appreci­ate it in full measure is equally important. So Sarang family welcomes profession­als or aspiring artists as well as culturally-oriented people to get acquainted with the arts & culture of Kerala.

Kerala has a vibrant cultural tradition with many art forms entwined with spirituality and many others with strong roots in rural life. Sarang family believes that learning traditional arts in diverse contexts will deepen understanding about Indian cul­ture. So, they are in the process of building a network with various artists and arts & cultural institu­tions all over Kerala. And hope that this Center truly evolves as a platform which can introduce you to wonderful artists and in­stitutions that blotted on Kerala’s cultural map. Sarang Cultural centre offers the opportunity for the study of traditional Indian art forms, martial arts, cooking, organic farming, environmental regeneration and traditional healthcare and introduction to the values of Indian Culture.

The Center functions in a modern, single-storied ‘Naluke­ttu’ with an open central court­yard. The house is built on tradi­tional architecture and the pecu­liarity is that the indoors remain cooler even in hot summer. The traditional pond near the house can be used for swimming and bathing except in peak summer. The house is spacious enough to combine the classes and the living together. The calm and cool early mornings with devotional feeling uplifts your mind and thoughts.

For residents accommodation will be on twin-sharing basis in well-assigned rooms. Privacy is ensured within the rooms. The day classes are conducted in the common spaces and the terrace or the garden can be used for leisure time activities. If you are a voracious reader you can use the well-stocked library.

Palatable home made vegetarian food using or­ganic seasonal vegetables and fruits will tickle your taste buds. For a healthy start, drink made of millets or cereals with milk or co­conut is served in the morn­ing. Usually there are three meals -breakfast, lunch and dinner-served in a day. In addition to that hot or cold fresh drinks will be served according to the climate. Clean and hygienic water from well itself is healthy and also get purified and filtered water and boiled water using herbs. Gener­ally, traditional way of eating is fostered.

Here you get explored with traditional and unique set of cultural practices through the unique way of learning that only Sarang can share. At every mo­ment of your learning you can feel the spill out from the treasure of knowledge acquired through their daily routine and opens the window of your mind towards the unique culture.

Independent performing art­ists instruct the various items through interactive activity ses­sion, theory session, story session and field visit. Don’t hesitate to contact the Sarang family if you don’t find the subject listed. The best way to know a culture is to know its Art, Languages, Cuisine, Architecture or Litera­ture. The subjects offered are Art forms, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Mural Painting, Tabla, Mridan­gam, Kathakali, Kathakali Mu­sic, Kathakali Makeup (Chutti), Carnatic Music Vocal, Veena, Yoga and Cooking. Sarang also conducts Yoga Intensive Teacher Training courses and special courses for Yoga, Cooking and dance forms.

The Center is located in Na­garippuram village, Pathirippala, just 20 minutes from each of the nearest towns, Palakkad and Ottappalam (railway halts). It is located on the Pathirippala \" Kongad road with adequate bus service. Pathirippala, the near­est junction is just ten minutes walk away. Nearest airport is Kozhikode.

This centre is an extension of Sarang, an alternative school and rural university in making. Sarang Alternative School has evolved into a learning centre which tries to quench the human thirst for learning while giving importance to ethics and human­ity. Emphasis is given to art and cultural education which is es­sential to boost self confidence, creativity and a positive vision. Mr. Gautham and Ms. Anuradha, second generation of Sarang family run this centre for Sarang Trust. In 1979, a young couple, Mr. Gopalakrishnan and Ms. Vijayalekshmi, fresh hand teach­ers were started Sarang as a basic school to provide remedial classes for academically weak children. Sarang Alternative School evolved as an answer to their quest for an education sys­tem that would allow their own child to grow into a good human being, responsible and responsive to the society. Gautham Sarang is the only child who could go through Sarang’s curriculum continuously. He married to Ms. Anuradha and their baby girl Hiranya came to the third generation of Sarang family. Mr. Gautham and Ms. Anuradha are working hard to take Sarang to the future under the guidance of Mr. Gopalakrishnan and Ms. Vijayalekshmi.

At Sarang, education is learn­ing to live and let live. So don’t waist your valid time to share your skills and cultural benefits. Pack up your bag for an amaz­ing fruitful journey to know the rural village experience of Kerala where a unique culture awaits you.



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