'I like to create emotions through art'

EXPAT SPEAK

I was born in Defence Colony, so coming back to live here was like a journey to get back to my roots,”recounts Aruna Adiceam, Cultural Attache of the French Embassy in India when Metrolife met her at her residence.

In appearance, she looks very much an Indian with a foreign accent that she acquired during her growing up years in France, while her dusky looks and dark hair bespeak of her
Indian antecedents.

The youngest of six siblings, Aruna migrated to France with her family when she was only three and grew up in a typical South Indian household of which there were  just a handful in the Europe of early 80s.

“My dad was into Indian classical music and brother in Western classical music. In school, I was taken to the museum when quite young and thus grew up in an environment which had the best of both the cultures,” reminisces the diplomat who learnt Bharatanatyam and Odissi for 12 and three years respectively. Ironically, she also rejected Indian culture as a teenager, only to take it up in her education later.
An MPhil in Social Anthropology and a master in cultural management, Aruna found it difficult to live in India when in Chennai to complete her dissertation on Vanya caste.

“But whenever I visited my relatives in Delhi, I used to take my husband to Connaught Place. The place means a lot to me and thus we decided to bring public art here first,” confesses the Parisian who is the brain behind the mammoth project ‘Fete de la Photo’ which has brought photography into public domain.

“It is how we present art that we start seeing things beyond a painting or sculpture,” opines the cultural head who is passionate about art and “what it provokes in people.”
“Why is Bollywood doing so well?” she questions replying “Because it gives you
sentiments. Art provides the same. I like to create emotions through art.” 

Just then her two young ones enter the house bringing alive the Indian mother in her. “My daughter was four months old when I was posted here in 2010 and my son was born here. I am happy that I am able to provide them a sense of Indian culture even though they often fall sick due to pollution,” says the concerned mother informing that her daughter speaks Hindi (courtesy the domestic helps) unlike her. “My only regret is that next year when my term expires, I will leave India without learning Hindi,” she says with a heavy heart as she plans to live with her husband in France and aims to come back as soon as possible!

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