Performance celebrates Indo-Celtic ties
A classical Indian dance by Kumud Savla at the Celtic heritage festival held on March 14 at Stockbridge, Georgia, marked the connection between ancient Celtic and Indian cultures.
The historic festival at the Cochran Public Library threw light on Celtic history seen from a multi-cultural perspective. The event, produced by the Celtic Collection Program and sponsored by the Henry County Arts Alliance and the Henry County Library System, was hosted by Lewis Hales, owner and CEO of the Celtic Collection Program.
The focus on the multicultural influences on Celtic thought and history made the event special, and probably surprised an audience who had expected to see just the traditional Scottish bagpipes and Irish dances.
A significant part of the program included the performance by Kumud Savla, Dance Director Norcross based of Nritya Natya Kala Bharati. Program host Lewis Hales remarked, “Kumud’s dance represented the interconnection between ancient Celtic society and India. Many Europeans do not realize how influential Indian culture was on the development of western thought and society. Although the Celts were the first Europeans, between 2,050-1,200 B.C. they conducted extensive trade with India and eventually intermarried with the culture. Many medicines used by the ancient Celts came from India; (their)concepts of astronomy were remarkably similar; both used identical boat styles for travel; their jewelry were identical in shape, size and were used to express spiritual values; (their) belief in reincarnation was mutually shared; and the Celts venerated water, which is to this day regarded as sacred in India. Kumud’s dance represented these historical factors at the festival. Her performance was the first time in Georgia history that the ancient relationship between India and Europeans was represented in dance form at a Celtic heritage event.”
Sandeep Savla, Kumud’s husband, provided information to the audience about the historical and spiritual significance of the dance.
Connie Renaud, Cochran Public Library Branch Manager, said, “We hope this Celtic festival will be the first to motivate other historical and research organizations to look at how Indian and European genealogy are interconnected and how these similarities surface in both cultures today.”
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