About Us

About Us

Sahapedia is an open encyclopedic resource on the arts, cultures and histories of India. Sahapedia offers digital content in multimedia format—articles and books, photo essays and video, interviews and oral histories, maps and timelines, authored by scholars and curated by experts. Subject areas range from ideas and belief systems, rituals and practices, to visual and performing arts. The values that guide our work are accessibility, inclusiveness, collaboration and reliability.

Sahapedia hosts multiple perspectives, is free to access, and is designed and developed with participation as the central principle. As a knowledge enterprise, Sahapedia is focused on India and South Asia.

In an age of rapid technological development, proliferation of suspect information, and inadequate legal frameworks, Sahapedia uses the best digital practices to document and disseminate India’s cultural heritage. Sahapedia is for all users searching for information, such as students, research-based explorers, tourists, creative professionals and others. Through our outreach programs, we present a forum for those who may not have either access to or familiarity with India’s rich heritages. Sahapedia targets researchers and scholars with specific academic projects, eventually curated for a wider public.

Vision

∙      Recognizing that the nature of knowledge is interdisciplinary, that India’s cultural expressions are diverse, and that cultural change is a story both of loss and of gain and creativity, Sahapedia seeks to nurture, interpret and develop cultural resources for the present and future generations.

Mission

∙      Sahapedia creatively engages with culture and history to reveal connections for a wide public using digital media.

Areas of work

Sahapedia works on a wide range of topics related to India’s culture ranging from philosophy to architecture and food. For ease, we categorize them in these ways:

∙      Knowledge Traditions: Philosophy, oral traditions, healing practices...

∙      Visual and Material Arts: Sculpture, cinema, textiles, crafts…

∙      Performing Arts: Dance, music, puppetry, theatre…

∙      Literature and Languages: Authors, works, language histories…

∙      Practices and Rituals: Festivals, cuisines, life-cycle rituals…

∙      Histories: Places, movements, social change…

∙      Institutions: Museums, universities, cultural centres…

∙      People: Artistes, scholars, practitioners…

∙      Built Spaces: Places of worship, memorials, historic sites…

∙      Natural Environment: Ecosystems, national parks, native species…

Why Sahapedia?

India is a culturally vibrant country with more than 400 languages and over 4000 communities and its diverse cultural legacies are central to the lives of Indians. This diversity shows itself in the languages we speak, the foods we eat, the music that inspires us, the occasions we mark and the beliefs we espouse. The legacy lives in the ways we do all of these things, or even in the ways we reject them. In other words, our cultural legacies form the web of meaning through which we navigate our lives and our communities—both local and national.

This diversity of expressions, practices and knowledge systems is often celebrated, but equally, it is at times a source of misunderstandings, even intolerance. Sahapedia believes that India’s diversity must not only be safeguarded but understood by more Indians for it to thrive meaningfully. More importantly, it ought to lead to joy and wonder and add to our experience of living. Creative cultural acts such as dancing, composing, crafting and cooking are neither routine nor escapes from routine, at their best they are the reasons we live. This is the end goal of Sahapedia—to nourish life through the arts.

Sahapedia was founded in New Delhi in 2010, and we now have offices in New Delhi and Kochi, Kerala. In 2011, we registered as a not-for-profit society under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. Donations to Sahapedia are eligible for tax benefits under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act.