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     Evening Performances
     6:30 to 9:00 pm at Siri Fort Main Auditorium

saturday 21st february at 6.30 pm


Chanting in the Bahai Tradition (10 minutes)

Mr. Ganesh Shenoy, Mr. Subrato Sharma,Mrs. Vasanthi Shenoy, Ms. Sujatha Rath, Ms. Archana Shenoy 

The Bahá'í Faith is the youngest of the world's independent religions. Its founder, Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892), from Persia is regarded by Bahá'ís as the most recent in the line of Messengers of God that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.

The central theme of Bahá'u'lláh's message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society. God, Bahá'u'lláh said, has set in motion historical forces that are breaking down traditional barriers of race, class, creed, and nation and that will, in time, give birth to a universal civilization.

A worldwide community of some five million Bahá'ís, representative of most of the nations, races and cultures on earth, is working to give Bahá'u'lláh's teachings practical effect.




Sengey Tsewa (The Revelry with the Lion)

Buddhist Chants from the High Himalaya

recited by the nuns of Druk Gawa Khilwa Abbey, Ladakh

Jigmet Rangjung, Jigmet Sherab Tsogal, Jigmet Ishey Spaldon, Jigmet Chozin Wangmo, Jigmet Tsewang Choskit, Jigmet Kunga Palmo, Jigmet Choski Tara, Jigmet Ringchen Zangmo, Jigmet Thupstan Chosdon, Jigmet Nawang Choskit, Jigmet Chosying, Jigmet Thinlay Choskit, Jigmet Thinlay Wangmo, Jigmet Rinchen Karuna, Jigmet Paldan Wangmo



Druk Gawa Khilwa Abbey is a spiritual community for female practitioners founded by His Holiness the Twelfth Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual head of the Drukpa Lineage.  It is the Drukpa Lineage that holds the authentic blessings of Naropa and his consort Niguma.  At present, there are approximately 300 nuns at the Abbey, who alternate between the two centres at Kortsa (Ladakh) and Kathmandu (Nepal) learning the teachings and practicing the methods of their lineage so that they may attain salvation.


Female Buddhist practitioners have seldom had the same opportunities as their male counterparts.  The Abbey was established to counter this because His Holiness felt that “Women should be provided with equal opportunities as men to learn and progress on the spiritual path”.  Because of cultural and social expectations, women were not allowed to touch the kangling (the traditional trumpets), wear the ritual hats and perform the Vajra dances.  But Buddha Shakyamuni had never said in his teachings (sutra) that women cannot do these things.  Emulating the Buddha’s teachings, for the first time, in July 2004, His Holiness gave charge of the rituals to 200 of his nuns.  For ten days they led and performed all the rituals connected with both the Naropa Ceremony as well as the Drubchen (Great Accomplishment) ceremony, before an audience of over 135,000 people.  Again when His Holiness celebrated 800 years of the Drukpa lineage the nuns were out in front performing the rituals and chanting the prayers associated with the celebration. 


Ultimately, it is His Holiness’s hope to create an awareness that female practitioners can also inspire and benefit, not just themselves, but all beings on the spiritual path to enlightenment.  The 15 nuns performing at the Sacred Arts Festival are from Ladakh.  This is the first time they are performing in public.  Pure, meditative, inspiring the nuns chanting will demonstrate the rich spiritual music of Tibetan Buddhism, evoking the ethereal beauty of the Himalayas, the remoteness of their austere nunnery and the omnipresence of the wisdom of Buddha.         




 saturday 21st february at 8.00 pm


Sufi Trance from Aleppo
Classical Arabic Music from Syria

Sheikh Habboush : lead singer
 Hasan Altnji :munshid
Ali Akil Sabah :munshid
 Julien Jâlal Eddine Weiss : qânun, artistic direction
Ziad Kadi Amin : Ney
Adel Shams el-Din : riqq (percussion)
Mohamed Yahya Hamami : whirling dervish


                                               Aleppo has been an important center for Sufism since the thirteenth century, when the rulers of the Ayubid dynasty started building Sufi convents (khanaqa) and lodges (zawiya) as part of their policy of fostering Sunni Islam against the threat of Ismaili Shi‘ism and the Crusaders. Aleppo was a cultural crossroad and trading center for caravans from Anatolia, Iran, Mesopotamia and southern Syria. This cosmopolitan environment was reflected in the doctrinal and ritual traits of the Sufism practiced in Aleppo, which fused mystical trends developed in the Arab, Turkish and Persian religious and cultural contexts. Under the Ottoman Empire some Sufi tariqas where organized into centralized and hierarchical structures, putting the local zawiyas under the leadership of a Sheikh.  

Even today Sufism retains its vitality where its rituals are part of the public expression of Islam. This is illustrated with the Wednesday night gatherings at the lodge (Zawiya) of Shaykh Habbush  located in the old city of Aleppo where hundreds of people participate in the dhikr ceremony. Sheikh Habboush starts with a sama during which he sings mystical poems and the devotees and musicians participate with drums, cymbals and cries of ‘Allah’.  

Arab classical music is known for its famed virtuoso singers, who sing long, elaborately ornamented, melismatic tunes, and are known for driving audiences into ecstasy. Its traditions come from pre- Islamic times, when female singing entertained the wealthy, and inspired warriors on the battlefield with their rajaz poetry. 

The main difference between the Western and the Arabic musical scales is the existence of many in-between quarter notes, which along with the distinctive instruments gives this music its unique haunting quality. 

Julien Weiss, with his deep knowledge and research of  Middle Easteren music and Sufi traditions interprets the classical Arab repertoire setting the instruments into sharp relief, thus re-establishing a balance which very often exclusively favoured the sung melody. 

The traditional oriental ensemble is the Takht Sharqi , composed of a qânun (a table zither with pinched strings), an Ud (oriental lute), a Nay (reed flute) and a riqq (small tambourine with little cymbals).


A concert presented by Zamzama Productions - Paris -