Exhibition of Islamic Calligraphy from Rampur Raza Library opens in Brunei

An exhibition of photographs of valuable collection of Islamic Calligraphy from the Rampur Raza Library of Ministry of Culture, Government of India was inaugurated as the inaugural event of Festival of India in Brunei Darussalam yesterday.

The exhibition was inaugurated by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Government of Brunei Darussalam, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof. The exhibition consist of 36 photographs of calligraphy including of verses from the Holy Quran, and poetry in Persian and Arabic, selected from the over 3000 calligraphy pieces in the Rampur Raza Library collection. The Exhibition is being jointly hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Government of Brunei Darussalam and the High Commission of India in Brunei Darussalam and will stay open to public till 25th November, 2017.

At the inaugural event, Nagma M Mallick, High Commissioner of India to Brunei Darussalam, described the Exhibition as a gesture of solidarity and friendship of the Government of India to the Government and the people of Brunei Darussalam on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Sultan.

She described the calligraphy on display as another example of the syncretic culture that amalgamated the ancient Indian artistic traditions with Islamic culture over hundreds of years to produce a cultural flowering under the Mughal Empire. The Exhibition of Islamic and other Monuments of India held in Brunei in December 2016 had also showcased the architectural aspects of the same syncretic culture.

The art of calligraphy is still a living tradition in India, where over 60 Departments of Arabic and Persian Studies flourish in Indian universities. Prof. Syed Hassan Abbas, Director of the Rampur Raza Library, gave details of some of the treasures stored in the Library, including 17000 original manuscripts. He detailed the names and careers of some of the renowned calligraphers whose works form part of the Rampur Raza Library collection. The High Commissioner gifted an example of calligraphy in marble to the Minister of Brunei.

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