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“Pilgrim Scholar – Alexander Csoma de Korös Memorial Exhibition” inaugurated at IGNCA by Liszt Institute

The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in collaboration with the Liszt Institute Hungarian Cultural Centre, Delhi and Tibet House, New Delhi  inaugurated the photo documentary exhibition on the eminent Hungarian Philologist and Orientalist, author of the first Tibetan–English dictionary Alexander Csoma de Korös  on Monday, 4th October. The Exhibition was inaugurated by Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Union Minister of Cultural and External Affairs, in the presence of Prof. Karam Tej Singh Sarao, Dept. of Buddhist Studies, Delhi University; Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, IGNCA; Dr. Margit Koves, Cultural Resource Expert.

This exhibition has been curated by the scholars of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Dr. Gergely Orosz and Dr. Ágnes Kelecsényi. The motive behind the exhibition has been to celebrate Alexander Csoma de Korös (1784-1842) who lived and worked in India in the last two decades of his life. Liszt will be organizing a series of events in  the memory of Alexander Csoma de Korös and to strengthen the cultural relations between India & Hungary. The exhibition is open to the public from 5th of October to 14th of October from 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. at IGNCA, Janpath.

Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi quoted that, “Alexander Csoma de Korös was truly a saint as per the Indic thought, who sought knowledge and lived for achieving academic and intellectual excellence. He is the one who built a bridge between India and Hungary in the 18th century which is cherished by people of both the countries even in the 21st century.”

The entire series of events have been conceptualized by Prof. (Dr.) Ramesh C. Gaur, Dean & HoD-KalaNidhi Division, IGNCA with the support of Dr. Margit Koves, Cultural Resource Expert.

Further to this Prof (Dr.) Ramesh C Gaur said, “We are organizing this series in the memory of Buddhist Scholar Alexander Csoma de Korös and to let people be aware of how our cultures are deeply rooted and how Alexander connected the cultural dots. It’s important for us to understand such historic things to enlighten the future pathways. To glorify this we would like to take the honour in introducing the series of events including, webinar, virtual talk show, photo exhibition and music concert. The purpose of this entire event is also to share the cultural interests, and to talk about the art collections shared by India & Hungary together.”

Adding to this, Hungarian research Scholar and Curator Mr. Gergely Orosz said, “Hungarians consider Alexander Csoma de Korös  (whom we  Korösi Csoma Sándor or for short Csoma) is one of the first major links connecting Hungary and India, a link that continued further by Aurel Stein, Amrita Sher-Gil, Gyula Germanus, Elizabeth Brunner and Elizabeth Sass-Brunner, Charles Fabri, Ervin Baktay and many others. Csoma took over the form of life the Tibetan lamas lived and studied their work with empathy. Hungarians present Csoma’s life as a model, - specially for young students -  exemplary in perseverance, sacrifice and simplicity. The exhibition will present various stages of Csoma’s travels and work, his global significance for the access,  understanding and preservation of Buddhist heritage as part of memory of humankind and the inception of Tibetan Studies  at a global scale.”

Alexander's letters and manuscripts are in the possession of the Asiatic Society and will be exhibited along with the Hungarian exhibition in Kolkata at the end of the month.

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