Art Representing the Faith in Diwali. imitates

In his Nobel Lecture to the Swedish Academy in Stockholm in December 1992, Derek Walcott called it one of the most remarkable traditional performances he had seen in Trinidad. He described the Ramleela in Felicity near Chaguanas in Central Trinidad with his amazing creativity and emphasized that in beholding it he was witnessing faith, not art.

Ramleela, the most elaborate, demanding and longest acting in the world, was designed, produced and performed not by skilled playwrights, actresses and actors, but by ordinary people. Villagers and farmers organize and gather in their villages to perform a play that lasts 40 hours for ten days. They make all the costumes and props and set the stage on a wide football or cricket field. For months they prepare and perform night after night in an example of the greatest theatrical spectacle to be seen in the Caribbean. But as Walcott described it, all this spectacular art and effort is made possible because it is an act of faith for the artists.

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