Indian Avant Garde Bloggies Awards. MoR has been now nominated (and is moved)

The Taj Mahal or ताज महल

Some of my posts have been just now nominated at the Indian Avant Garde Bloggies Awards. They are appearing on the comment section at the right.

It’s a huge Indian Bloggie festival promoted by the fantastic and indefatigable Poonam Sharma, a young woman with character who is constructing the new India like all the young Indians around her.

I feel honoured, and I am moved a bit, I’ll confess. It doesn’t really matter who will win since what matters here is that ideas, mutual respect, intercultural appreciation plus, last but not least,  affection, have circulated among us.

For an Italian this is even more important since Italians – the ones I have experience of – are not that open to the world, like instead other folks from other seas, or past, are.

Ψ

Let me repeat that the people from the subcontinent have been important for the Man of Roma’s blog. Don’t know why, they have been founding in some way – odd in a blog dedicated to Rome -, as many of my posts and conversations [see a sample] – here and in other blogs – attest (in my first not-easy-to-forget blogging year mostly – now West readers have kinda devoured me.)

So now I want my non Indian readers to get to know some of these people. I’ll let them speak via the Avant Garde Bloggies Awards web site (Poonam’s voice mainly.)

The Bahá'í Lotus Temple in Delhi, India.

“Hey there! Avant Garde Bloggies Awards aims to find the worthiest bloggers around. You are here to have your voice counted to decide the worthiest blogger available.

Publicist: Nikhil

Scrutinising Team: Dhiren, Vimal, Smita and Vee (I could not even have taken a single step without these four.)

Awards Badge Designer: Chirag

Judges:

  1. Nita: A knowledgeble part-time journalist and movie reviewer from Bombay who writes about India
  2. Nikhil: A whacky guy from Bangalore who would not hesitate to write about wierdest things you can be shy of imagining
  3. Museditions: An interesting blogger from US who calls herself lifelong student of philosophy, arts, science and music
  4. Withering Willow: A blogger and personal friend with an artistic bent of mind. She would rather tell you about colour therapy, spas, chakras than any verbal activism
  5. Anshul: A cartoonist blogger who has been featured on NDTV Metronation as well as Indian Express for the uniqueness of his blog
  6. Vee: An outgoing nomad blogger (travelled 23 states) and reader. Passionate about movies (may watch a movie 12 times without qualms should it catch his fancy) and beautiful things in life.
  7. Magik: He writes and reviews movies at prestigious Passion for Cinema blog.
  8. Me (ie Poonam Sharma)
  9. Joseph Thomas: A singer, composer and podcaster from Kerala
  10. Rashmi: A personal friend and English litterateur from Pune who loves to read poetry and books. She has another blog these days. I will update link soon. She was a theatre enthusiast, currently she makes her living out of her words.
  11. Meetu: The lady who runs this hugely successful movie review site Without Giving the Movie Away (WOGMA). She won Indibloggies 2008 that happened in 2009.

I’ll finally add – I think it to be appropriate – some Indian fusion music (classical Indian + western pop)  from the Destination Infinity blog. Here is DI first:

“The song  ‘Taaye yeshoda’ from the movie ‘Morning Raaga’ [see below, MoR. ] is one of the best Classical/Carnatic fusion songs that I have heard till now. The first fusion song I heard was ‘Krishna Nee Begane’ [see also below] by Colonial Cousins. That was a brilliant fusion of western and classical. I have always wondered why there have not been many fusion songs after that. Carnatic/classical music has never appealed to me earlier …”

And this one too (unfortunately a better one DI proposed has been removed from Youtube):

Themes from Man of Roma

The Roman Forum. Click for credits and larger image

I’d love to know
How things got to be
How they are.

[Marilyn Monroe]

Ψ

Here is a first selection of themes from Man of Roma. Each link leads to pages with excerpts from our posts that illustrate the chosen themes. I couldn’t get much into the conversations kicked off by the posts for lack of time. You can have a look yourself since lots of additional materials are in the comments area of the linked posts.

This page is meant for those interested in finding their bearings in the ideas of this blog. You will notice leitmotivs that circulate and I have also chosen themes related to one another.

Another theme selection – to be published not immediately, I don’t want to lose all my readers – will regard the relationships between South and North Europe, Europe and North America, East and West, Great Britain and the Continent and much more.

Ψ

The Human Mind is Like a Museum
The human mind is like a museum since it contains almost infinite traces of past conceptions, from Stone Age onwards. Words, language are an important portion of this museum, but lots of things are there that go way beyond words. In short, a huge disorganized archive we have in our heads and that we should inventory. It’s the activity of this blog, a little bit.

The Legacy of Rome
Rome is the city of the soul (as Byron and Victor Hugo put it,) of our authentic Western soul, since Europe and the West were shaped here, and Rome’s legacy is greater than we think.

Folks of the Mediterranean Sea
The Italian and Roman soul is intimately tied to the folks of the Mediterranean. We are all related. Food, plants and plenty of traditions are similar. On a long-period perspective we belong to the same historical stream, to the same area from which some of the great civilizations have germinated on this side of the planet. Of course there are differences among us, but we are not so dissimilar as someone might (or likes to) think. Many behaviours, defined for example as Islamic, actually belong to the ancient past of Mare Nostrum, the context and stage of all that made us the way we are.

Influences of the Classical World
The Greco-Roman classical civilization has moulded the world we live in today. Influences and survivals can be seen in behaviours, arts etc.

Sex and the City (of Rome)
An exploration of Greco-Roman sexuality and of what is left today of such different mores. I have dedicated a series of 5 posts (out of 105) to this theme but the series is always in the ‘top posts’ list on the right column. I wonder why.
I have tried to understand how alien Greco-Roman sex can be vis-à-vi contemporary sexuality, and why things have changed so much since then.

Dialogue Among Civilisations
Some communication has occurred with non Western people, very enriching though not always easy. Great civilizations tend to close-up a bit – noble gases, Ashish, one witty commenter of this blog, called them –  they being like complete in themselves. We had good connection with the Indians. Their good English has helped. Rediscovering one’s heritage doesn’t exclude others, quite the contrary. It means having something peculiar to transmit, in order to be able, in our turn, to receive.

“The deeper one goes into one’s own experience – argued Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan – […] the more does one’s experience have in common with the experiences of others […]. The most unique is the most universal. The dialogues of Buddha or of Plato, the dramas of Sophocles, the plays of Shakespeare are both national and universal. The more profoundly they are rooted in historical traditions, the more uniquely do they know themselves and elicit powerful responses from others.”

Survivals of Roman Religion
When talking about religion it is important to understand that history and faith, science and theology fly on different planes and shouldn’t be confused. By Roman religion we mean any cult that was followed in ancient Rome, also foreign ones. As an example, the cult of the Anatolian Kybele, the great mother-goddess, was established on the Palatine Hill in 210 BC, according to Livy. To the historian, anthropologist etc. the number of Roman religion survivals is impressive.

Crisis of Values in Affluent Countries
We all here in the West must encourage a totally new different attitude which can enable us to better face both our present crisis of values and the radical changes ahead which might cause our swift decline. In Europe especially religion is waning and people sometimes embrace weird beliefs (see below Neo-pagan underground temples in Northern Italy.) Rich countries should be full of happy people, all the requirements for happiness (or serenity) being present. Nonetheless one has the impression that often void rules and that people don’t know any more which are the right choices in everyday life.

Neo-pagan stunning temples secretly carved out below ground in Northern Italy. Click for source file (Daily Mail)

The Greco-Roman Roots of the West
Similar to the ‘Influences of the Classical World’ but seen from a different viewpoint.

Traces of Paganism in Italians
Sometimes Italians, especially from the South, are considered superstitious. Whatever we mean by this word, these superstitions seem often remnants of the Greco-Roman past. Italians were highly civilized long before Christianity arrived (9-10 centuries earlier,) while many Northern Europeans became civilised together with, and thanks to, Christianity. This couldn’t be without consequences.

Capitoline She-Wolf. Rome, Musei Capitolini. Public domain