UM Celebrates Diverse Culture During India Week

February 21, 2014

MISSOULA – For the second year in a row, the University of Montana’s India Advisory Council will bring a series of talks, performances, exhibits and events to campus March 1-7 to engage students, faculty, staff and members of the community in the diverse Indian culture.

“Many people in Missoula are very interested in the paradoxes that constitute India,” said council chair Ruth Vanita, liberal studies professor at the University. “We hope to break down stereotypes and facilitate dialogue.”

The weeklong series kicks off at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1, in Skaggs Building Room 114, with an interactive demonstration on how spices can be used to optimize health and the science behind it. A classical Bharatanatyam dance performance by Ganesh Vasudeva of San Francisco at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the Montana Theatre of the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center. This event is sponsored by South & Southeast Asian Studies with support from several other units. Vasudeva also will present, “The Mathematics of Indian Classical Dance,” a lecture and demonstration from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Monday, March 3, in  Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center Room 005. All dance performances are free to the public.

Other highlights of India Week include screening of the award-winning movie “Tales of the Night Fairies,” in which unionized sex workers in Kolkata talk about their own lives and choices. The screening begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, in the University Center Theater and will be followed by a faculty-led discussion.

Students interested in studying abroad in India can learn about opportunities provided by UM during a study-abroad presentation from 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, in the University Center Room 332. In addition, journalism students who spent winter session reporting on environmental and conservation issues in India will share their adventures from 12 to1 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in Don Anderson Hall. The meeting room will be posted at building entrances.

For more information contact Ruth Vanita at 406-243-4894 or email







Contact: Ruth Vanita, UM liberal studies professor, 406-243-4894,