Guest post from Vicky, our Family Programme Coordinator, all about our recent South Asia Big Saturday – part of our series of consultation events for the new British Museum South Asia partnership gallery at Manchester Museum:
‘South Asian culture is really interesting, I want to learn more!’ Visitor comment
On 24 September when visitors entered the Museum their senses were awakened by the tantalising smells of South Asian food. The Museum came to life with music, dance and storytelling from South Asia. Our Discovery Centre was bustling with families engaging in an array of arts activities from creating clay pots inspired by the Museum’s Indus valley objects to henna painting, and discovering more about Arabic calligraphy.
Visitors gathered in the Living Worlds gallery for a variety of Bhangracise performances throughout the day with a final performance by visitors. It was great to see so many flushed and happy faces getting to grips with some new dance moves. It was lovely to hear how much visitors enjoyed learning about the history of the dance and understanding the meaning behind the moves.
The day was a buzz of activity with over 800 people participating and providing a fantastic opportunity to speak with our visitors about our forthcoming South Asia gallery and the Courtyard development project.
Our visitors were asked to share what they want to know about South Asia, what they want to see in our South Asia gallery and what activities and events they would like to participate in. We were able to pilot and showcase a variety of activities and speak with our visitors about what they want to see more of.
The team worked hard to make the activities creative and suitable for all our audiences. Our visitors were welcomed with a Tuk Tuk and invited to share with us what they want to know about South Asia. Our Primary Programme Coordinator, Amy, invited family visitors to have a go at Elephant hoopla – and throw a hoop on the trunk of the elephant which best described what they wanted to see in the gallery from ‘food and drink’ to ‘entertainment and performance,’ ‘weapons and warfare,’ ‘fashion and clothing,’ and ‘religions and celebrations.’
It really was a lively and inspiring day and a fabulous opportunity to speak with visitors about what they want to see and experience in their South Asia gallery.
Images thanks to: Joel Chester Fildes