Culture can be a complicated subject. Just what does it mean? Usual suspects encompassing its essence point to language, heritage, history, a people and, if it may be called- a vibrant mix of the above. Yet, no understanding about it is ever rendered complete without examining in rich detail- the above pillars. It is like promising to swim an entire ocean, boasting about knowing what lies beneath whilst brushing aside the high-tides, volcanically erupting undercurrents, amphibious powers that roam next to a bed of massively beautiful coral life. You cannot possibly appreciate the beauty or essence of culture unless you haven’t swum deep. In this regard, Sahapedia is throwing emphatic new light on the essence of one of the most vital aspects of our existence and us: culture.
And, not just on the arts and histories and cultures of India.
But, also related to that of South Asia, a collective mix of this part of the world where we are, adjacent to a crop of growing economies including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and, Maldives. In an age largely defined by digital developments or digitalization, where access to almost everything- whether for usage, consumption and predetermination of any kind is through the one-way traffic of technology, it’s heartening to find something as important and (often) under appreciated as India’s culture and that of South Asia’s is streaming into lives online, courtesy Sahapedia- a unique digital ensemble of an exhaustive library of arts, cultures and unique, shape-shifting histories of India and South Asia.
An initiative that permits limitless knowledge exchange across myriad cornerstones such as Knowledge Traditions, Literature & Languages, Performing Arts, Visual & Material Arts, Practices & Ritual Histories, Institutions, People, Built Spaces and Natural Environment- Sahapedia is a laudable attempt to present people with knowledge that counts and matters, in an age where we are presented with a paucity of time in which to consume dollops of information.
Cutting across a wide spectrum of information in this regard, for curious minds hungry to consume facets as diverse and sumptuous as the culinary delights of Nepal to the immensely attractive architectural charms of New Delhi’s Rashtrapati Bhavan, Sahapedia is attempting to bring close those diverse, far-reaching corners where India and South Asia’s culture resides with splendor.
And must it be said, given an entire world’s attraction toward unravelling this enigma- some magnificence?
That said, for any awareness to take real shape, in order to sit in the mind space and appeal to its set of followers, merely consuming reading material- exhaustive that it might be- may not be enough. Sahapedia’s attempt in this direction, has been to provide a full knowledge base to those interested through guided culture walks, giving a detailed account of the many visual delights concerning the history, architecture, other cultural imprints in India and South Asia- that are pleasing and arresting to the eye, more than the beauty of a word in informative articles.
Therefore, Sahapedia, whose core activities are supported by the TCS Foundation, aims to bring lovers, fans of a vivacious subject, closer to the bedrock that governs this relevant behemoth in India as well as South Asia. To know one’s culture is to stare at an abyss of information that stares back right at you, one concerning a people, art, practices, languages, ideologues and whatnot. Sahapedia, therefore, is bringing the world around us, ever more close. Pleasing in an aesthetic presentation. Appealing in intellectual mentation.