Doors to Diplomacy Participants

Lakshmipat Singhania Academy (2018 CyberFair Project ID 8365)
India, Kolkata
Official Status: Incomplete: under Development
Teacher:
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

We estimate 12 student(s) from 11 to 17 will work on this entry.

Description of Our Community: kolkata has also been the pioneer city in Indian renaissance. It has long been known for its literary, artistic and revolutionary heritage. As the former capital of India, and now known as the "Cultural Capital of India", not only Kolkata, but Bengal was the birthplace of modern Indian literary, artistic and scholastic thought. Bengalees tend to have a special appreciation for art and literature; its tradition of welcoming new talent has made it a "city of furious creative energy".[1]

Paras in Kolkata signify a neighbourhood with a strong sense of community, and are usually sharply defined on the basis of loyalties (like which households contribute economically to which public or "barowari" puja). Paras culture typically segregate Kolkata communities on the basis of origin (West Bengal origin "ghotis" versus East Bengal origin "bangals" – there are paras which have names like "prothom bangal para" (first bangal para)), occupation and socio-economic status (paras have names like "kumorpara" (potter para)), and sometimes even politics and religion.

Typically, every para has its own community club, with a club room ("club ghar"), and often a playing field. People of a para habitually indulge in adda or leisurely chat in "rock"s or "rowacks" (porches) and teashops in the evenings after work. North Kolkata paras typically have more street life at late nights with respect to South Kolkata paras. Sports (cricket, football, badminton) and indoor games (carrom) tournaments are regularly organised on an inter-para basis.

The para culture is fast waning, for good or bad, with the rise of apartment complexes, and the rise of the cosmopolitan nature of Kolkata.

An adda involves an informal discussion usually involving friends talking over a bhaar (cup) of tea on current issues. An adda may be viewed as a form of intellectual exchange among members of the same socio-economic strata. It is most popular among the youths belonging to the so-called "middle-class intelligentsia".

Project Description: One of India’s most historic and cosmopolitan cities, Kolkata has been at the center of activity of various civilizations at different points in time. Large populations of Chinese, Armenian, Jewish, and other immigrant communities have all called Kolkata home, and the city’s stunning architecture pays testament to its social, political, and cultural richness.

Kolkata served as the capital of the British Raj, which extended over almost all of present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, except for small holdings by other European nations such as Goa and Pondicherry, from 1772 to 1911. Many of the structures built in the colonial era still stand, interspersed with older buildings. The city has been the seat of power in the state since its inception. While the government is yet to take sufficient action to restore and manage these heritage buildings, take a stroll down the lanes and spot a few incredible structures. But we as an academic institution we wanted to initiate a service which would draw attention to these beautiful structures. We targeted an audience who would be the future residents of the city i.e. the student community. We wanted that they should be sensitised to the rich heritage that theirs to appreciate. We also targeted a group who were not exposed to heritage education. Taking them out; talking to them and slowly letting them know about their heritage was something which was done to create a rapport between them and their heritage.

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