Ljubljana, May 5:
Slovenia, a country of just two million people in Central Europe, has planned multifarious ceremonies to mark the 154th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore from May 7-12.
The Slovenian ministry of education, science and sport and the International Centre for Public Enterprise in Ljubljana will organise a concert, ‘Timeless Tagore’, in the nobel laureate’s honour May 7, said the Indian embassy here.
The concert has been conceptualised by Rupa Chakravarti with ‘Triglav’, a group of Slovene musicians and dancer who have learned Rabindrasangeet and Rabindrik Nritya from her. An exhibition of Tagore’s art works, received from the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi, will also be on display at the ministry.
On May 9, the nobel laureate’s birthday, the mayor of Maribor will lead a memorial ceremony at Tagore’s bust donated by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in the second largest city of Slovenia.
An exhibition of Tagore’s paintings, received through the Consulate General of India in Milan, will also be inaugurated at Maribor’s municipal art gallery.
The Ethnology Museum in Ljubljana will hold a special screening of Satyajit Ray’s film “Ghare Baire”, translated into Slovene in the 1920s, as part of their ongoing exposition “Doors” — paying tribute to both Tagore and Ray, who was also born and passed away in May.
On May 12, the University of Maribor, which has signed agreements of cooperation with over 10 renowned Indian institutions including the University of Calcutta, will honour the poet with a special public lecture, ‘Rabindranath Tagore: Questions of Freedom and Independence’, to be delivered by Ana Jelnikar.
An expert on Tagore, Jelnikar has contributed an article for a commemorative volume on the bard to be published soon by the Indian Council of World Affairs in New Delhi.
Slovenian literary journal Sodobnost will also publish in May new Slovene translations by Dusanka Zabukovec of some Tagore songs from “Gitobitan”, translated into English by Rupa Chakravarti. The Central Library of Slovenia may display all available Slovenian translations of Tagore’s works during his anniversary celebrations.
Tagore visited Yugoslavia in 1926. His works, however, had by then evoked an unprecedented response amongst Slovenes (Slovenia became independent from Yugoslavia after the latter’s break-up in 1991). Nationalist Slovene poet Srecko Kosovel was inspired by them to give the title “Golden Boat” to his first manuscript of poetry, in honour of Tagore, for whom he also wrote a poem “In Green India”.
Over 20 of Tagore’s works have been translated so far into Slovene, many by Alojs Gradnik, who dedicated himself lifelong to the task. New translations of Tagore and books about him are frequently published here.