My culture completes my identity!

Born in the land of Ramayana and Mahabharata, 23-year-old Supriya Pathak says art and culture has the potential to restore peace in the world today.

India’s two great epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, have inspired many to ponder over the truth of this existence and have kindled many hearts. Time has moved from one era to another, altering the perceptions, traditions and culture of India, but the glory of the two texts remain intact. The two revered epics still play a crucial role in refining consciousness of those who come in touch with it and a testimony to this is a 23-year-old Supriya Pathak.

Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, the land where the events of Ramayana and Mahabharata unfolded, Supriya holds her values high and squashes any hint that Indian youths are steadily forgetting their culture.

“I love India; and of countless things, I am specifically proud of its cultural diversity. The culture, traditions and festivals of so many religions that thrive here has played a crucial role in uniting Indians,” she says.

Born in an era where knowledge of India’s glorious history and varied heritage rarely finds resonance among its generation, Supriya comfortably puts the notion to rest. “I am a modern girl, but I still reflect on the teachings of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Not because I come from UP, but it is my culture that completes my identity,” she asserts.

Uttar Pradesh falls in central India and Supriya says her state upholds the identity of India. “If I had to share one thing with the world, then has to be the festivals and traditions and vibrant religious practices of UP. For instance, the Kumbh Mela, a famous congregation of devotees who take a dip in the holy Ganges, and marriages. The fine rituals, customs and traditions that a couple undergoes before entering their nuptial bliss in Uttar Pradesh are woven around the roots of ancient culture, which essentially defines India,” explains the young girl.

In times when violence seems to have taken a center stage around the globe, Supriya reasons that a few unfortunate happenings are a result of faulty perception as well as limited outlook of one’s religion.

Every religion preaches peace and goodness. The current affairs of the globe need correction of perception in every religion. Religion, if preached in the correct manner, teaches you importance of peace.

“Art and culture can play a vital role in uniting the world again. It has the potential to enhance the inner development and expands the mind and soul. Life without libraries, museums, theatre, art galleries or music will be static and sterile. History is a witness to it. Nurturing art and culture helps any country to learn from the past, believe in the diverse possibilities in the present and dream for a better future,” Supriya says.

Adding to it, she reminds us of the role that music has played since time immemorial. Music, she says, fuels the soul, mind and in turn fuels creativity. The strength of various forms of arts including, writing, painting, dance, and theater has the ability to create a similar effect. If every individual on this planet finds solace in any form of art or culture, then he or she is bound to vouch for peace, Supriya opines.

So, does the world today need art and cultural revolution to restore peace? “Absolutely,” Supriya affirms. “Every religion preaches peace and goodness. The current affairs of the globe need correction of perception in every religion. Religion, if preached in the correct manner, teaches you importance of peace,” she states.

For her, technology can be the apt medium to weave religions together to invoke peace around. “Internet expands our thinking and we have the freedom to adopt bits from every corner of the world. We must use this tool for cultural exchange and to pass on the simple message of peace to every living person,” she suggests.

To conclude, Supriya says one world, one family is possible when people are happy and satisfied. “There is no crime, no hatred and a sense of prosperity across every border, peace among people and everyone striving to preserve the lone religion called humanity,” says Supriya, will bring peace back.