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University Library Leiden

Witte Singel 27, Leiden

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Leiden University Libraries

18 May-5 September - Sanskrit – Across Asia and Beyond

Sanskrit is a global phenomenon–a language that has captured the intellectual imagination of historians and linguists in nineteenth-century Europe, and contemporary students of yoga and āyurveda, alike. Yet, Sanskrit is not a language that speaks solely through texts. It has been a medium for the transmission of ideas, stories, images, and performances that together inspired a shared world of culture linking far-flung regions of Asia across the centuries. This exhibition traces some of the complexity and cultural dynamism of Sanskrit in Asia and beyond: from a language of elite culture to a language of enlightenment, from its rich storyworlds to traditions of embodied practice. Finally, it considers how and why Sanskrit matters today by looking at the debates currently surrounding its use and status. To tell the story of Sanskrit, the exhibition will incorporate a broad range of materials including rare manuscripts, vibrant photographs of Asian temples and icons, and original videos and multimedia presentations.
Start time: 17.00 p.m.