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City to witness 200 events in August to celebrate Madras Day
Commemorating the founding day of Madras, our city is set to host over 200 events throughout the month of August, that will celebrate the art, culture, history and the people of Chennai. Each year, August 22 has been marked as Madras Day, based on the consideration that it was on August 22, 1639.
That is the widely accepted date of when the erstwhile village of Madraspatnam was transacted by the East Indian Company from the viceroy of the Vijayanagara Empire.
The celebrations of the founding of the city have been marked over the past few years with events running through the month. This year, August 18 to 25 will be earmarked as Madras Week. Historian and author V Sriram, who has been part of the Madras for many years now, estimates at least 10,000 people to be taking part in the 200-odd events that are scheduled.
“There are several talks, heritage walks and other events that explore the past and present of Chennai. A lot of the talks and panel discussions this year revolve around the issue of water, a problem that the city is currently facing. Madras Week is just a spontaneous celebration of the city, and the events depend on different aspects of Chennai that people want to celebrate,” Sriram tells us.
The historian says that even though people have questioned why a colonial date must be taken as a day to celebrate the city, the idea is only to have a date that is a marker. “The aim is to celebrate everything about Chennai,” he stresses.Some of the events to be held this month include a walk along the lanes of Aminjikarai organised by the group Nam Veedu, Nam Oor, Nam Kadhai (August 10), a quiz for children held by Madras Literary Society (August 10), a tour to math genius Srinivasa Ramanujan museum in Old Washermanpet (August 11), and a walk across the old bridges of the city led by researcher-historian D Hemchandra Rao (August 11).
There will also be a butterfly walk at Adyar Poonga (August 17), a walk through the Royal Madras Yacht Club (August 18), and an exhibition of military history of the city at Madras Literary Society (August 21-31), among others.