Cairo: An Indian spiritual singing group willperform here as they take the stage at the 9th edition of International ‘Samaa’ Festival for Religious Chanting and Sufi Music. The visit of the six-member group, led by Purna Das Baul Sarat, was organized by the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture, Embassy of India in Cairo, in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. The group is sponsored by Indian Council for Cultural Relations in New Delhi. The group will be performing at different venues in Cairo including, the historic Citadel, Qubbat El-Ghouri, Moiz Street and other venues. The festival began on Tuesday and will go on till September 27.
The group performed first on Tuesday at the opening ceremony, directed by the Egyptian music conductor Intesar Abdel Fatah. Baul sect are nomads whose religious philosophy goes back over 1000 years. One of the main tenets of Baul cult is love for humanity –- irrespective of their casts and creed, faith and religion, color and custom. Baul speaks about the universal mysteries of life in simple words to touch the hearts of common man. Singing spiritual songs, according to Baul philosophy, the soul is nothing but the god within oneself who has to be perceived and realized though inner enlightment.
Purna Chandra Das, represents the eighth generation of an ancient Baul family. Das took the Baul tradition for the first time outside India, travelling to USSR where he presented his songs at the World Youth Festival. Since then he has toured 125 countries all over the world. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the prestigious title Emperor of Baul by the President of India in 1967, Sangeet Natak Award in 1999 and in 2001 he was honored with the title ‘Tulsi’ by the Government of Madhya Pradesh. There are six English language documentaries on Das. Some were produced in the US and Japan especially well known among them is Lila. PTI
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