Aeilushi Mistry

2020 Aarti Hindu Lamp Ceremony
Artistic Discipline: Folk Arts
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2020
Location: DUMBO

The dance arts, cultural traditions, and ceremonies of Aeilushi Mistry’s Hindu tradition and India are intertwined with each other and have a dynamic relationship with the community. These have played an important part in her upbringing and are an integral part of Mistry’s art-making.

The Aarti Hindu Lamp Ceremony (AHLC) began after Hurricane Sandy. In the Hindu practice, lighting of a lamp symbolizes life, and the river is respected as a mother. During the AHLC, participants connect with the river with decorated lamps. Many ceremonies in India have an inherent art making element and involve community participation. Most art-forms in Indian Hindu culture originated as ritual devotion to the Divine; art and rituals are interrelated. During her childhood, Mistry celebrated AHLC with her family and community.

In summer 2020, Mistry, serving as Artistic Director, will lead the 8th Annual Aarti Hindu Lamp Ceremony with support from traditional guest artists. Participants will be provided materials to make their lamps. AHLC will assist in placing these lamps in the East River to carry their prayers and wishes. This year’s AHLC will include "Where do you belong?," an interactive world map where participants will use ceremony colors to mark the location of their familial roots. Based in Brooklyn, AHLC will take place at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pebble Beach: an ADA compliant environment close to public transportation.