Cultural Significance of Kochi-Muziris (GS Paper 1 ; History and Culture )

Context : Kochi-Muziris Biennale is postponed because of the covid situation. It is now set to open on December 12, 2022, and will run for four months, till April 10, 2023. The formal announcement was made on October 14.

Cultural Significance of Kochi 

  • Kochi has been an important cultural centre of India for centuries 

  • For the centuries many traders, seafarers and travellers have interacting with this town and they were involved themselves in the trade of spices 

  • Many foreigners like Portugal, Greece, Arab, China, The Netherlands and England penetrated India for the trade therefore we see the the cultural impact of foreign culture over indegeneous culture of Kochi

  • Therefore multicultural evidences can easily been explored from his historical town 

  • Vishu is a Hindu festival popular in Kochi also. However Vishu is l celebrated in the other Indian states also. For example it is celebrated in  the Tulu Nadu region in Karnataka, Mahé district of the Union Territory of Pondicherry, neighbouring areas of Tamil Nadu and in the regions of their diaspora communities. It is celebrated to bring prosperity. Other festivals like Holi, Diwali, Eid-ul-Fitr, Christmas, Easter, Milad-e-Sharif are also celebrated in this region 

  • Kochi Carnival is the biggest and most loved carnival in the city. It is celebrated for Ten days in the month of December.  TIn this carnival we see the cultural glimpse of portuguese. This celebration also welcomes the new year  . On New Year’s Day an elephant parade is organised and tunes of “Panchavadyam” fills the air.

Cultural Significance of Muziris 

  • Muziris is the ancient cultural city of kerala. Muziris has been popular for international trade for more than 3000 years . Muzirish was a famous port of ancient India and in the sangam text we see the name of this port . 

  • It was one of the greatest and largest trade centre of ancient India which trade relations with greek , South East Asia and other part of the world 

  • Our archaeologists and scientists are exploring the cultural evidence from this site and the project related to Muziris Heritage is the effort to reinstall it legacy as well as its fame  

  • Archaeologists have found evidence of international trade from this site from the 7th century BC. Indian species are exported to various regions of the world . Even though archaeologists had also claimed that they had the remains of the Alexandrian Empire, they controlled a developed network of trade with India which had previously existed under the influence of the Persian Achaemenid dynasty.

  • Greek historian  Historian Strabo and Plinni also describe Indian- Roman trade. The Port of Alexandria became the major staging point for the spice trade (Northern Silk Route).

  • Parthian Empire during the 3rd century BC was located on the trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han Empire of China became important places in the circulation of spices.

  • The reign of Augustus (27 BC- 15 BC)  is the witness of  direct trade relations between Rome and India.

  •  Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, arrives in Muziris from Jerusalem and thus this site has also become the holy place of Christianity also 

  • These types of biennale should be held on time to time to protect and to enhance our ancient Indian Culture.  

Plutus IAS daily current affairs 14 Oct 2021