The 9th Pondicherry Heritage Festival (PHF) continues to celebrate the heritage of this extraordinary town and its environs, in all its aspects: Natural, Spiritual, Cultural and Architectural from 1st February-15th March, 2023. This year’s festival will focus on “Responsible Tourism” as we turn our attention to how holidays can be transformed into more meaningful immersive experiences with greater awareness of a tourist’s actions on the locals and the natural environment. The programme is planned under the joint effort by Department of Tourism, Government of Puducherry, Pondicherry People’s Heritage, INTACH, Pondycan, and many festival partners including Sri Aurobindo Society.
Press Meet of the famous Pondicherry Heritage Festival was done on 25th January at Alliance Française de Pondichéry. Kakoli, one of the organizers of the PHF briefed about the significance of the heritage festival including a diverse mix events spanning across monumental and living heritage, culture, environment and local food systems as well as a round table on the theme led by experts and policy-makers.
Kishor Kumar Tripathy, member secretary, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society, said events planned to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Maharshi Aurobindo including a symposium and screening of the film ‘The Transformation.’ He also emphasized on the efforts undertaken by AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society to work on different aspects of Indian Cultural heritage and the programs including symposium on ‘Cultural Heritage Conservation and Community Culture’ on 23rd Feb, 2023; symposium on ‘Sri Aurobindo on Indian Cultural Heritage’ on 28th feb, Panel Discussion on ‘Tamil Heritage: linguistic, cultural, religious socio-economic advancement’ on 1st March, 2023 and a Symposium 'Measuring Women's contribution to culture - Key factors for achieving sustainable growth’ on 8th March, 2023. He also spoke on the creative expression program for school and colleges students in the areas of Visual arts, Music and instrumental.
Doris Barboni, Head of Ecology, French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) and Delphine Thivet, Head of Social Sciences at IFP, gave an overview of events that would focus on raising environmental awareness, photography competition, the local food systems and a revival of millet consumption in line with the declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets. Satish Nalam, president of Alliance Francaise Puducherry spoke about the development of heritage consciousness and the significance of responsible Tourism. Arul Kumar, co-convenor, INTACH, Pondicherry chapter highlighted the efforts undertaken for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Puducherry including the conservation, preservation and management of cultural resources. Sithara Gerdes, secretary, Crafts Council of India, Puducherry chapter, informed about the Crafts Bazar for the promotion of the craft tradition of Pondicherry. Gayatri Majumdar, spoke about the poetry reading sessions and cultural shows.
PHF has always been a volunteer effort, led by the People for Pondicherry’s Heritage (PPH), INTACH and PondyCAN. It is supported by GOPs Tourism Department and partners: IFP, AFP, Sri Aurobindo Society, LAL, Kariappa House, Hidesign, Palais de Mahe; Aquaterra, PondicherryIn, Pondicherry Beach Escapes, SITA Cultural Centre, Midam Trust, Pondicherry Crafts Council, Gratitude Heritage, La Maison de Bitasta and others. The organisers hope the Heritage Festival continues to strengthen the respect of Pondicherians for the traditions and treasures of our town, created by the confluence of cultures in a spectacularly beautiful setting.
The festival will be continued till 15th March, 2023.