Ramayana: Footprint in Southeast Asian Culture and Heritage. A Talk by Anita Bose



The Ramayana is the most blissful inheritance to Bharatiya culture and Sanskrit, the classical language that personifies the very soul of India. Ramayana is a peerless epic composed by Maharshi Valmiki in ancient Bharatvarsha. Numerous countries, both in and around Asia, received various gifts like the insightful wisdom of Sanskrit, the philosophy of self-consciousness and the impetus to grow socially and culturally while performing the necessities of human life, have been derived from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. Prof Sylvain Levi, the great French orientalist, once said “India gave mythology to her neighbors,” Ramayana serves as the great stimulants to nascent literary worlds of Southeast Asian countries and functioned as the highest standard of literature for guidance. Numerous inscriptions on stones, different royal ceremonies, philosophies, governing polity, stories influencing the culture of various south east Asian countries through Drama, Puppetry and various performing arts, knowledge of Ayurveda and the Sanskrit calendar, all derived from ancient Sanskrit Culture.

Ramayana Civilization or such is its everlasting influence, Thai Ramakien and Khon are very popular in the present day. So much so, that even performers from distant nations like Canada have chosen to stay in Thailand and perform in plays based on them. Dances like Singkil and Hudhud are very popular amongst the young Filipinos which is derived from Maharadia Lawana, while the figurine of Apsara Dance and the puppets of Rama and Laxman from Reamker are always in high demand for tourists at local Cambodian souvenir markets. The Kakawin Ramayana of Java and Bali associates people of Islam in it, while in countries like Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Philippines, plays based on Ramayana are a regularity. From paintings to sculptures, from literature to the ethos of royal administration, from rituals of coronation to cremation, from local dance to grand ceremony the impact of Ramayana is prominent all-over Southeast Asia and this book provides a detailed analysis for the same.

Mrs Anita Bose holds an M.A. in Bengali Literature from Burdwan University and further endeavored in Appreciation of Indian Art, Indology and Ramakrishna and Vivekananda Movement, completed from Kavi Kul guru Kalidas University, Nagpur, and Golpark Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture respectively. In addition, she studied Fashion Designing and Textile Designing from Bhawanipur Educational society. As an artist and an independent researcher, her research papers are discussed and appreciated by the various eminent institutions of India and Thailand. Her first book on Patachitra of Odisha and Jagannath Culture was published in 2018

Date: Thursday 31 October 2019
Time: 7.00 p.m.
Place: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

Non-members donation: B200. Siam Society members, members’ spouses and children, and all students showing valid student ID cards are admitted free of charge. For more information, please contact Khun Arunsri or

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The Siam Society is deeply grateful to the James H.W. Thompson Foundation for its generous support of the 2019-2020 Lecture Series.