Madras Week will be celebrated between the 19th and 26th of August this year. The Week, which started off as Madras Day nine years ago to celebrate the founding of the city on August 22, 1639, has become virtually a Madras Month judging by the programming last year.
The celebrations will begin by the second week of August itself and will carry on till at least the 31st, and, like last year, is likely to be spread throughout August. For the small band of volunteers who catalysed this celebration and now help coordinate the programmes, the response from corporates, educational institutions and citizens of the city has given enormous satisfaction.
This year, the hotels of the city will, once again, be enthusiastic participants. Some will be venues for talks while others will host art and photographic exhibitions besides organising food festivals with Madras cuisine as their theme.
Art galleries have also taken to this event in a big way. This year the Murugappa Group’s Madras Quiz for schools state-wide will be the highlight of a Madras quizzing season that’s become a feature of the Week.
The Chennai Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is also planning several competitive programmes for schools and colleges, such as quizzes, elocution contests and debates with Madras as the focus.
Mylapore Times too is organising a wide range of events for Madras Week. These include walks, quiz contests and other programmes. As has been the practice in past years, Chennai Heritage, publishers of Madras Musings, will be hosting eight talks at various locations, on subjects related to the city.
It will also lead several heritage walks in the city during the Week. Perhaps indicative of the success of Madras Week as a means of creating an awareness about the City and its heritage is the number of institutions that have come forward each year to celebrate the city.
Several IT companies organised programmes last year and are planning to do more this year. So have several Clubs and Rotary Clubs. The celebrations have also spread to the suburbs such as Tiruvanmiyur, Nanganallur and Tambaram. Private apartment blocks and various societies are planning their own events.
Participation is purely a voluntary effort by those wanting to organise programmes during the Week. The role of the informal group of co-coordinators is only to encourage such participation, try to organise publicity for the events, offer advice, and, where possible, arrange venues.
This is a first call for individuals/ volunteer groups who wish to celebrate the founding of this city to join in. For any assistance or information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.