This Day in History (6-Oct-1889) – Moulin Rogue opens in Paris

In October 1889, Paris was all abuzz concerning the opening of a new music hall. The owners of this new establishment, Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler, who had chosen the name Moulin Rouge (Red Mill) for their Moulin Rouge, Paris theatre, gave it the nickname “Le Premier Palais des Femmes” (The First Palace of Women) and claimed that Moulin Rouge would soon become “a temple of music and dance”.

Moulin Rouge quickly gained a reputation for being the place where men could view young Parisian girls whose unique and amazing dance moves were as flexible as their morals. And though the famous Can-Can dance had been present in working class ballrooms since the 1830s, the early days of the Moulin Rouge cemented its popularity, though during the first few decades that the establishment was open, it was little more than a bawdy dance performed by courtesans to entertain their male clientele. At times it was downright vulgar and what went on inside the Moulin Rouge caused much public outrage. During this time period, one of the music hall’s most notable patrons was artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who painted a number of famous Moulin Rouge scenes.

In later years, the establishment cleaned up its act, eventually lost its reputation as a brothel, and became a fashionable music hall known for its extravagant cabaret shows, attracting a high-class clientele. The Can-Can itself was toned down as well. Still, it’s the main reason patrons come to Moulin Rouge and they always go away entertained by the dancers’ high-kicking moves, cartwheels, splits, and other amazing acrobatic tricks.

Today, a visit to the Moulin Rouge is still very popular with adult visitors to Paris. The show features more than 100 performers decked out in the most extravagant costumes, which include lots of feathers, rhinestones, and sequins. The sets are equally as spectacular. There are two English movies with the name and shot on the backdrop of Moulin Rogue, one was released in 1952 and other in 2001. Parineeta movie had a glimpse of Kolkata based Moulin Rogue.

 

Reference:

http://www.historyorb.com/day/october/6

http://www.aviewoncities.com/paris/moulinrouge.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moulin_Rouge_(1952_film)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moulin_Rouge

This Day in History (20-Aug-1828) – Brahmo Samaj, the first movement to initiate religio-social reforms, was founded by Ram Mohan Roy in Calcutta

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a popular social and educational reformer in India who paved the way for progress in India under British rule. Though born in an orthodox brahmin family, Rammohan Roy had shown great sympathy for Islam and Christianity. He had gone to Tibet in search of the Buddhist mysteries. He had extracted from Christianity its ethical system, but had rejected the divinity of Christ as he had denied the Hindu Incarnations. The religion of Islam influenced him, to a great extent, in the formulation of his monotheistic doctrines. But he always went back to the Vedas for his spiritual inspiration. The Brahmo Samaj which was launched into its eventful career on August 20, 1828, gave a concrete expression to Roy’s concept of universal worship. Weekly service was held originally, a practice which has been retained to this day at the Brahmamandir of Tagore’s Shantiniketan.  It consisted of three successive parts, viz. recitation of the Vedas by Telegu Brahmins in the closed apartment exclusively before the Brahmin members of the congregation, reading and exposition of the Upanishads for the general audience, and singing of religious hymns. the only custodian of Vedic rituals in Calcutta at that moment was the orthodox Telegu Brahmin community and its members could not be persuaded to recite the Vedas before Brahmins and non-Brahmins alike.

The Brahmo Samaj is credited with being one of the most important reform movements in India which led to the foundation of modern India. The Brahmo Samaj was a community of people who worship the Brahman, which is referred to as “The unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world”, something which cannot be defined and is the highest reality. It was a reflection of the Bengal Renaissance and took active participation in social emancipation, which included the abolition of sati, the caste system, child marriage, dowry and the betterment of the status of women in society. Brahmosim as a tool to tackle the prevalent dowry system was addressed in noted Bengali writer Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s famous 1914 novel, Parineeta.

 

Reference:

http://www.indianage.com/search.php

http://www.mapsofindia.com/on-this-day/20th-august-1828-the-first-session-of-ram-mohan-roys-brahmo-samaj-is-held-in-kolkata

http://www.thebrahmosamaj.net/history/history.html

http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/gospel/introduction/brahmo_samaj.htm