What do we mean by geography?

At The Institute of Geographical Studies, we view geography as an encompassing discipline and not just a subject in textbooks. In our view, geography includes not just the traditionally recognized components (physical features, markets, settlements, climate, etc.). Instead, it includes human connections to the environment beyond the use of the environment for our purposes. The ways in which we create, sustain, and modify spaces that we occupy or have influence over – these are as much geographical as anything else.

You can see examples of the variety of geography topics that children have engaged with at TIGS here.

Geographical songs:

Anthems at different scales, drawing spiritual/ethical/moral values from the environment around us, anthropomorphizing geographic elements around us … these are all very intimate ways in which we engage with geography.

Through these, we convey a sense of our geography to others – our contemporaries and our successors.

All cultures engage with geography in different ways. This is true of the Indian culture also.

One way of observing, formulating, and conveying geographic information is through the arts. Specifically, performing arts.

In this project, called Singing geography *, we plan to collect a wide variety of songs from around India in the many languages of the land. We are seeking folk songs, film songs, and popular music that connect in some way to the geographies of the land.

Having collected these, we will curate the collection in an on-going online resource base for anyone interested in the geography of India – teachers, students, parents, etc.

Here are some example songs:

har deś mein tu har veś mein tu (Hindi; Tukdoji Maharaj)jan gan man adhinayaka jaya hey (Hindi; Rabindranath Tagore)sindhu nadiyin misai nilaviniley (Tamil; Subrahmanya Bharati)mungāru maleyay (Kannada; Yogaraj Bhat)

The information will be part of a database that will be available to a world-wide audience. It will also be used to prepare some academic materials.

If you have any questions, please ask at geo@tigs.in

* The name of the project – Singing Geography – emerged from discussions between Dr Chandra Shekhar Balachandran (Founder + Director, TIGS) and Dr Heidi Nast (Professor, International Studies, DePaul University, Chicago, USA).

To submit your entry, click on the link below …

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