Ramleela – Building a tradition
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Tahirih Boodhoo, plays Seeta, while Navinash Persaud, plays Ram.
Tahirih Boodhoo, plays Seeta, while Navinash Persaud, plays Ram.

The Ramayana is perhaps most common in local Hindu iconography – images of Ram and Hanuman are subjects of devotion for thousands across the country. This weekend, an open air stage depiction of the Ramayana – the story of the lord Ram’s battle to reclaim his kidnapped wife Seeta from the demon ruler Raavan – is being held at the Indian

Tahirih Boodhoo, plays Seeta, who is kidnapped by evil Lanka rule Raavan, played by Munesh Ramsaywack. The kidnap of Seeta, forms the backbone of the story of the Ramayan.
Tahirih Boodhoo, plays Seeta, who is kidnapped by evil Lanka rule Raavan, played by Munesh Ramsaywack. The kidnap of Seeta, forms the backbone of the story of the Ramayan.

Monument Gardens in Georgetown.
Called Ramleela, or Ram’s play, it is being staged by the Indian Commemoration Trust, one of the main organisations engaged in efforts to preserve Indian cultural traditions, which is often tied to the practices and activities of the main religious groups.
For the second time around, Roshini Boodhoo performs director duties. Last year, she also played the part of Sita.
A former beauty queen and an avid dancer, Boodhoo has set her eyes on carving her own place in Indian cultural celebrations and looks to direct the production annually.
“The stories of the Ramayana teaches us values and morals instilled by Shree Ram as a child , then as a son , a brother , a husband and even as a friend,” she says.

Among the main characters in the staging of Ramleela are Tonya Singh (Surpnakha, Raavan’s sister), Munesh Ramsaywack 9raavan) and Beepaul Bandhoo plays Raavan’s son.
Among the main characters in the staging of Ramleela are Tonya Singh (Surpnakha, Raavan’s sister), Munesh Ramsaywack 9raavan) and Beepaul Bandhoo plays Raavan’s son.

“There are multiple persons in the Ramayana that you might want to emulate, but by the end of the story you’ll want to be a Seeta or a Ram.”
As the story goes, Lord Vishnu came to earth as Ram to destroy the evil Ravana, ruler of Lanka who had upset nature. Ravana was instigated by his Sister Surpnakha to make Seeta his bride.
Ravana disguised himself as a sage and kidnapped Seeta.
The plot climaxes, when Rama, determined to find his Seeta, destroys Ravana.
Hindus revere Ram as Maryada Purushottama, or the Perfect Man or Lord of Self-Control or Lord of Virtue, whereas Seetais seen as the embodiment of a chaste woman. For Hindus, Ram is to Vishnu what Seeta is to the goddess Laxmi.
“The stories of the Ramayana teaches us values and morals instilled by Shree Ram as a child , then as a son , a brother , a husband and even as a friend,” says Boodhoo, who watched the film series of the Ramayana on television with her grandfather.
“There are multiple persons in the Ramayana that you might want to emulate, but by the end of the story you’ll want to be a Seeta or a Ram.”
Ramleela is on this Saturday, October 24, at the Indian Monument Grdens, Church and Camp Streets, from 18:30 hrs. Admission is free.

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