International Ramayana Conference 2001

International Ramayana Conference 2001
Artistic, Cultural and Literary Variations of Ramayana Worldwide
September 21-23, 2001
Northern Illinios University
DeKalb, Illinois USA

The Infinity Foundation and Northern Illinois University, supported by the International Ramayana Institute, is organizing a conference and fair featuring the ancient epic, Ramayana, September 21-23, 2001 at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.

The audience will also experience a unique blend of four very diverse dance styles from Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and India during the Ramayana Family Fair on September 23, 2001.

Planned Activities and Outline
The individual sessions on September 21 and 22 will focus on the following subjects delivered by learned literarians and historians. Over 60 scholars from 12 different countries have submitted proposals to participate in the conference.

  1. Effect of Ramayana on family relations.
  2. Ramayana-related education and research efforts.
  3. Ramayana in various countries.
  4. Literary and poetic forms of Ramayana.
  5. Art forms of Ramayana.
  6. Effect of Ramayana on various cultures and civilizations.
  7. Gender and political aspects of Ramayana.

Ramayana Fair 
The Ramayana Fair includes diverse Ramayana-related performances followed by an opportunity for the audience to see the details of the costumes, music, dance movements, facial expressions, acting and presentation. There will also be workshops on making the Ramayana-related paintings, sculptures, poetry, video, audio, music and other types of art in addition to the dance. The fair will be an event where the audience will participate with family, including children. The workshop will be held on Sunday, September 23, 2001 and will be an all-day event.

Benefits of the Conference & Fair

  1. We will hear learned scholars discuss themes outlined in this news release.
  2. The conference will enhance current and help establish future exchange programs among students, scholars and businessmen from the participating countries.
  3. It will strengthen good will, friendship and bondage among all communities of the metropolitan Chicago Area including the Thai, Indonesian, and Indian communities.

For information on conference registration, contact:

Julia Lamb, Outreach Coordinator
Center for Southeast Asian Studies
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: (815) 753-1595

This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Illinois General Assembly and The Infinity Foundation.

To download a registration form in .pdf format, click here

News Release: International Ramayana Institute of North America Fact Sheet

2000-2001 Activities

  1. Northern Illinois University and the International Ramayana Institute of North America 2001 Ramayana Conference will be held September 21-23, 2001 in DeKalb, Illinois. The conference will include an intensive one-day workshop with the full participation of Chicago-area communities.
  2. The fourth India, Indonesia, and Thailand joint dance drama performance will be held in the spring of 2002 in Skokie, Illinois.

Ramayana Institute’s Mission

To facilitate and promote the exchange of the literary, artistic, cultural and scientific aspects of Ramayana among different countries worldwide.

Short-Term Activities

To hold, support and encourage worldwide:

  1. Ramayana-related annual conferences
  2. Fine arts Dance Drama programs and art exhibits
  3. Establish and maintain contacts with Ramayana countries and other interested communities

Long-Term Activities

  1. International cultural delegation exchange
  2. Scholar exchange programs
  3. Educational programs and Ramayana- related research in English for the international audience
  4. Ramayana publicity

International Ramayana Institute of North America is Supported By:

  • Consulate of Indonesia, Chicago
  • Hindu Satsang
  • Indonesian Students Association in Chicago (Permias)
  • Indonesian Women’s Association (Dharma Wanita)
  • Natya Dance Theatre
  • Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute
  • Thai Association of Illinois
  • Burmese Buddhist Association


Ramayana has acceptability and a proven track record in several countries worldwide, including Bhutan, Cambodia, Fiji, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Thailand, Trinidad Tobago and Vietnam (Ramayana Countries).

Moslems, Buddhists and Hindus have voluntarily accepted Ramayana’s message. Ramayana promotes good human values through multinational participants.

Ramayana describes the life story of Rama and has been the basis of classical dances in several countries. It promotes human values and has inspired poets, writers, sculptors, painters, musicians, dancers, puppeteers and singers worldwide.


There is a universal need to find a unifying factor that brings back the basic values of family life. The assimilation of Ramayana beliefs in Western culture will achieve this by stressing the commonality of the ideas and values.

  1. It benefits communities in the U.S., Asia, and worldwide through the positive family values embedded in Ramayana.
  2. It forms ties between different Asian communities in the U.S. and around the world.
  3. Activities on a national or regional level in different countries may exist, but an international effort is missing.


The Institute reports to the Ramayana Committee. The Institute’s Board of Trustees is selected from the participating Asian countries.


Newal K. Agnihotri
799 Roosevelt Rd. – Bldg. 6, Ste. 208
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
Phone: (630) 858-6161, X14
Fax: (630) 858-8787