Madras Week – Celebrating the Spirit and History of Chennai

The largest city in South India, Chennai is among the oldest to be founded in India. It is believed that Chennai/Madras was founded in the year 1639 when a deal was struck between Francis Day of the East India Company and the local Nayak rulers. There is still some confusion on the exact date, but many believe that it happened on August 22, 1639.

The city slowly developed as settlements grew around Fort St. George and the villages surrounding the fort were brought together. The celebration of the formation of the city of Madras began in the year 1939 on the 300th anniversary, which was officially sponsored by the British government. The celebration included an exhibition of portraits, pictures, records, maps, and coins of the city and its transformation over the past 300 years. The celebrations continued since then and this year it would be the city’s 380th anniversary. 

The Madras Week this year will be celebrated from August 18 to August 25, but the events will start from 14th August to club the celebrations with India’s Independence Day. The theme for the events this year is ‘Namma Madras Nalla Madras’ which means ‘Our Madras Good Madras’. This year, there are some exciting performances lined up and the audience will surely have a gala time. Here’s what you can expect:

Cultural Activities

As Chennai is considered to be the cultural capital of India, there will be several cultural activities such as musical compositions.

Heritage Walks

There will be several walks such as Tree Walk, Nature Walk, Heritage Walk, and Food Walk organized by different institutions to spread awareness about the tangible and intangible heritage of the city. For example, there will be a heritage walk at Fort St. George led by Sriram V and  Mylapore Food Walkon 31 August.

Talk Shows

Several eminent personalities will hold talk shows on a wide range of topics concerning Chennai such as the changing geography of the city, and the city’s music and stand-up comedy scene. For instance, a talk will be held on ‘The Vikatan Group on Keeping Vikatan Relevant Over Time’ on 24 August.

Exhibitions

Exhibitions will be held across the city showcasing the work of various artists both past and present. For instance, the Vintage Bicycle Exhibition.

Book Launch

Writers will be launching their books, for instance, ‘Be the Book’ by Padmini Viswanathan and Aparna Kamakshi.

Competitions

Quiz competitions and drawing competitions will be held for both kids and adults about the history of the city.

Presentations

Presentations will be held by various celebrities on different topics such as the Memorabilia of the English Nabobs and Madras by Dr Swapna Sathish.

Tours

Tours will be held such as the Observation Race at Chennai Snake Park on 25 August.

Certain events will go on until September 1, 2019, so you have more than enough time to be a part of this extravaganza spread over two weeks. If you are a true Chennaiite make sure you attend a few of these events.

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