The Genda Phool Project is a multi-faceted, pluri-disciplinary arts / culture / community / environment project that aims to celebrate the universe of the marigold flower.
The eternal and universal genda phool (marigold) grows practically all over the world. Especially, it is an inseparable part of the cultural life of South Asia. Even more so in India – the marigold is ubiquitous and all pervasive in Indian life. It is part of all our journeys, from birth to marriage to death – every occasion is celebrated with genda phool. It is used all over the country, by people of all religions, by the poorest, and the richest. The flower of many uses, from medicine to cuisine, to agriculture; from decorative to ceremonial, the versatile genda is no doubt the king of flowers, and also a flower of the world. Its magical properties have been tried and tested since ancient times. The marigold is widely considered an “Indian flower” and is grown and used extensively in India, but it is native of Mexico, and came to India only about 500 years ago with the Portuguese, thus challenging assumptions of what is “Indian” and thus becoming the flower of exchange and universal syncreticism. Genda hence is a marker for, all at once – love, brotherhood, internationalism and positive energies. We have chosen such a flower to celebrate, it is such a universe that we want to lose ourselves in…The project aims to discover, extend and celebrate the language of the genda phool, and to create new meanings, new languages, towards enriching the universe of the genda…
Led by arts curator Himanshu Verma, who re-christened as “Genda Phool” has lost his ego, TGPP was started in March 2010, in the wake of several creative musings and extensive research on the marigold, fuelled by the Delhi 6 song of the same name, which in turn is a version of a Chattisgarhi folk song about the marigold. The project has since then, presented new ideas and led the mainstreaming of Genda Phool in our lives and in Indian culture.
We predicted that Genda is going to be a new idea in our lives. Today we see ample signs of it. It is becoming the mainstay of much of pop culture, from Bollywood to advertising. The king of flowers will only get bigger and better, we believe in this, and are at the helm of this new genda revolution, presenting and promoting an idea that belongs to everyone.
TGPP is an eclectic, dynamic and a lifelong project that will present a range of genda activities – from art to design, from music to festivals, from crafts to plantations and many other programmes that bring together cultures, communities and people under the shadow of the beloved flower.
This project is like a genda plant – it will not grow and prosper till you look after it, water it, feed it and talk to it. Without you, the gendas cannot flower. Join us in this dance of life!