SPIC MACAY – The spirit of volunteerism

spicmacay1.jpg
All photos: Abhirat Singh Parmar

Last week, SPIC MACAY arranged their 5th International Convention and at the same time also marked their 40 year anniversary. 1200 participants from all over India and abroad were selected to attend. The seven days of convention showed the essence of the movement, as volunteers and members from across the world came together to experience the mysticism and beauty of Indian traditional music and culture.

SPIC MACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth) is a non-political, nationwide, voluntary youth movement founded in 1977. It is a voluntary youth movement, which promotes intangible aspects of Indian cultural heritage by promoting Indian classical music, classical dance, folk music, yoga, meditation, crafts and other aspects of Indian culture. The intention is to enrich the quality of formal education by increasing awareness about these different aspects of Indian history.

SPIC MACAY arranges between 5000 to 7000 concerts each year, all these events are organised by thousands of volunteers. It is a movement with over 800 chapters inside India and 50 abroad, impacting more than 3 million students.

Activities at the International Convention last week consisted of classical music and dance concerts, folk art performances, crafts, intensives, theatre, classic cinema screenings, yoga, meditation and holistic food, in addition to talks by eminent people from different parts of the civil society. These activities were conducted by legendary masters of various art forms.

Ambassador Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg attended the convention. The Norwegian Embassy is a proud partner, and has supported SPIC MACAY through Kulturtanken (previously known as Rikskonsertene) for over 13 years.

Also addressing the Convention through video conference was Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During his 30-minute inauguration speech, he lauded SPIC MACAY as an exemplary movement and called it a role model for other NGOs. He emphasized the strength found in diversity and said that Indian music, in all its forms, unites the country by breaking social barriers and spreading the message of togetherness. The Prime Minister also stressed the importance for the younger generation to know and understand India's musical and cultural history as no nation can succeed by ignoring its heritage. SPIC MACAY plays a valuable part of keeping this alive amongst India’s youth.

"We thank Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for applauding our work. We also thank each and every partner of ours who has shown faith and trust in our movement and supported us. It is support of this nature that has brought us this far and will take us further in meeting our goal of spreading awareness about the rich cultural heritage of the world amongst the youth of the world," says Rashmi Malik, director of SPIC MACAY.

Watch Prime Minster Modi's speech here.
To see more photos from the Convention, visit our Facebook-page

One of the  greatest living legends of Hindustani Vocal tradition Smt Girija Devi.


Padmabhushan Teejan Bai, the legendary folk singer from Chattisgarh.