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Mega cultural event coming to India in May

While it may be several miles away, a major cultural event is being planned in one of the world's largest and most-populous countries that immigrants may want their families to be aware of the next time they send money to them and speak with them online or over the phone.

Between May 20 and May 26, Kolkata will convene a gathering that's sure to be enjoyed by all who attend. As noted by the Times of India, the week-long event – which will take place at the Indian Institute of Management – has the potential to be one of the biggest functions ever to take place in India, as several well-known figures will be in attendance to celebrate India's history and culture.

The chief sponsor of the event is the Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Among Youth, more commonly known as SPIC MACAY. The paper points out that among the attractions that visitors will see include major names in the world of classical music, such as classical vocalist Girija Devi santoor player Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma as well as Pandi Ajoy Chakraborty, who is also a classical singer.

So significant is this event, that India's president, Pranab Mukherjee, will be in attendance and will inaugurate the gathering on its opening night. In addition, close to 1,500 delegates from all across the country will gather as well.

Swami Vivekananda's 150 birthday to be celebrated
Not only will the cultural convention pay recognition to contemporary cultures and practices of Indian life but a large focus will be put on historical figures as well who have come to define Indian society, traditions and customs. One of whom is Swami Vivekananda. This would be his 150th birthday were the leader still alive today.

Hinduism is one of the most common religions and philosophies in India and Vivekananda is given credit for introducing the faith to other parts of the world through his teachings and speeches. Nine years before his death, Vivekananda visited Chicago and gave a stirring speech at a global meeting, called the Parliament of the World Religions. This is believed to be the place in which Hinduism became more widely known.

Though Vivekananda may be an unfamiliar name to people who have always lived in the U.S., the Indian leader made an impression on many different aspects of life, not solely in the religious framework. For example, one of the most common types of exercise among both men and women is yoga. Biographers of Vivekananda say that the West's enthusiasm for the mediation-centered form of exercise is largely due to his sphere of influence.

SPIC MACAY has released a program that visitors can download if they plan on attending the event or if they're curious about some of the activities that will be taking place there over the week-long period. They've also provided a framework of what the typical day will be like there. For example, events begin bright and early at 3:45 am and close down at 10:15 pm sharp. Between these hours, activities will include intensives, speeches, dinner, movement time and concerts.

India plays a significant role in today's society in a variety of respects. For example it is the world's tenth-largest economy from a standpoint of gross domestic product and is also the second-largest country in terms of population. It's estimated that more than 1.2 billion people live in the Republic of India – the country's more official name – second only to China.

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