The reality of the Indian presence in Asian cultures is undeniable. Recent scholarship in the field of Asian cultural studies has laid much stress on the essential oneness of the substratum that defines what may be termed as an Asian identity. Buddhism and Hinduism, having originated in India, travelled beyond the frontiers of the land of their origin, and in many ways, moulded the beliefs and faith of the people of Asia. Trade, political ambitions, and religious pursuits led to a dissemination of Indian `ideas` and `forms` across Asia. In each area of Indian influence, the assimilation of Indian traditions with indigenous practices led to the development of a new idiom of expression with a distinctive localized identity.
This collection of scholarly papers focuses on the centrality of the Indian contribution to Asian cultures and brings under one rubric, the views of experts from India, Nepal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Mongolia, China Korea, Japan, Belgium, Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom. Such an international representation, the consequence of a Seminar held in the National Museum Institute in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, is unique not only in providing the Indian point of view but also in revealing Eurasian perspectives on the subject of India's pivotal role in defining the Asian cultural matrix.
About the Authors:
Prof. (Dr.) Anupa Pande is an Art Historian and Indologist. She is a noteable Sanskritist, proficient in Indian music and foreign languages. She has authored research works on ancient Indian society, culture and art, specializing on the Natyasastra tradition and Buddhist Art. A Baden-Wurtemburg Fellow in the South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany from May 2003 to July 2003, she has delivered lectures within India and abroad on Indian cultural and art traditions. She is currently engaged in teaching and post-doctoral research in the National Museum Institute, New Delhi.
Parul Pandya Dhar, presently Assistant Professor, History of Art, at National Museum Institute, New Delhi, is also a noted Indian classical dance exponent. Well acquainted with classical Indian languages and literature, her core research interests centre on Indian temple art & architecture. Recipient of prestigious fellowships and grants, she is currently working on Toranas in Indian Architecture: with comparative reference to Southeast Asia. Her lecture-performances on the visual and performing arts of India as well as her work on the interpretation and adaptation of Sanskrit poetry to the language of dance have been well received by artists and art historians whithin India and abroad.