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Celebrating Diwali: The Ramayana in Southeast Asia

by Mat McDermott

ramayana tradition in se asia small Ramayana - Garret Kam small ramayana-in-focus-visual-small ramayana indonesia small

ramayana indonesiaFrom Lanka Eastwards: The Ramayana in the Literature and Visual Arts of Indonesia
Edited by Andrea Creesem Helen Griffith, and Arlo Acri
Published by Brill Academic Pub, 2013

The Kakawin Ramayana, arguably the oldest Old Javanese epic text in Indic metres (circa 9th century AD), holds a unique position in the literary heritage of Indonesia. The poem has retained a remarkable vitality through the centuries in the Archipelago, inspiring many forms of artistic expression not only in the domain of literature but also in the visual and performing arts, from the reliefs of the majestic Central Javanese temples to modern puppet-show performances.

The studies included in this volume, written by experts in a wide range of disciplines, focus on disparate aspects of the Kakawin Ramayana and the constellation of cultural phenomena revolving around it, providing the reader with a key to the understanding of the rich Old Javanese textual heritage and the transcultural intellectual dynamics that contributed to shaping the cultural heritage of Indonesia up to the present.

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Ramayana in Focus: Visual and Performing Arts of Asia
by Gauri Parimoo Krishnan
ramayana-in-focus-visual-and-performing-arts-of-asiaPublished by Asian Civilisations Museum, 2010

For more than 2,000 years, the Ramayana the tale of prince Ramas life and exploits has spread across the world and inspired retellings by saints, poets, scholars and performers for generations. In Southeast Asia and East Asia, the story was creatively adapted to reflect local cultures, beliefs and practices.With the global spread of the Indian diaspora, this ancient Epic remains relevant and meaningful even in modern times. This richly illustrated volume captures the fascinating adaptation of the story in different Asian cultures.The twenty essays from reputed international scholars on Ramayana cover a wide range of topics on literary, visual, performing and contemporary arts.The book also has a special focus on characters in the story prince Rama and his foe, Ravana; key female characters such as princess Sita, queens of king Dasharatha and demonesses Tataka and Shurpanakha.This will have enormous appeal to all those interested in Ramayana studies, as well as Asian literature, art and cultural history.

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ramayana tradition in se asiaThe Ramayana Tradition in Southeast Asia
by Singaravelu Sachithanantham
Published by University of Malaya Press, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2004

The Rama story has inspired the local artists in countries outside the Indian sub-continent to interpret it in their own media and languages, with a blend of their own personality and cultural environment. This book is a collection of research work involving four major literary versions of the Rama story in Sanskrit, Tamil, Malay and Thai. These stories keep the cultures alive and intact both in India and Southeast Asia.

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Ramayana in the Arts of Asia
by Garrett KamRamayana - Garret Kam
Published by Select Publishing, 2000

This is the most definitive work of the great Indian epic, the Ramayana, that has made made its way over the centuries to almost every corner of Southeast Asia. Art historian Garrett Kam has undertaken an extremely challenging task to track the various interpretations of the tale, from the Valmiki origin, about Sita’s enduring love and devotion to Rama, her abduction by the ogre king Ravana, and the adventures encountered by the various heroes that led to her eventual rescue. This magnificently illustrated volume also has a useful glossary section of the variation of names of characters as well as an appendix of the different performing art and literary traditions throughout Asia.

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