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Monthly E-motions- December of free festive fun

City of Paris is undoubtedly one of the most expensive metropolitans to live in. However festival fun does not always have to come with a high price tag. Here's a selection of some free activities to suit everyone- whether you are young or old, artistic or sportive, recluse or adventurous, shopaholic or environment conscious or a bit of everything !

 

Free and Fun Xmas

 

Don't forget to check out Indian events for the month. If you are one of those who wish to live life to the fullest never mind a few loose purse-stings, go and indulge in some capital fun, the Parisian way.

 

Everyone is enchanted by the colourful musical carousels located in different parts of Paris. Once again the city of Paris offers its gift of free rides of merry-go-round during Christmas vacations in as many as twenty locations throughout the city. If you are a winter sports buff, here's a chance for you to put on your skates and head to the Hotel de Ville for free skating or even free skating lessons. For a nominal price, enjoy the hustle and bustle of Christmas market and great views while skating at the Champs Elysées & Trocadero.

 

Trocadero on Ice

However, if sports is not your cup of tea and you would rather have a cup of hot spiced gluhwine to beat the winter cold, head to one of Christmas Markets in Paris at the Champs Elysées, Place Saint Germain des Près, Place de la Nation, Trocadéro, Place Saint Sulpice, Parvis de la Gare Montparnasse, La Défense, Gare de l'Est, Maison de l'Alsace, Auteuil, Notre Dame or Italie 2. Ambiance of traditional European Christmas markets created with wooden chalets selling Christmas specialities, handicraft items, hand-made decorations, gastronomic products, gifts, and more. For all ages and budgets. Find out more.

 

If over-consumerism tires and tries you out and you want to keep your heart and head close to nature, take a stroll (free, of course !) through the Paris Organic Christmas Trade Fair which is in its 6th edition this year. Great ideas for Xmas gifts, clothes, food and cosmetics that promote the natural, organic, fair trade and sustainable development. Win-win for everyone !

 

If you are rather content to retreat away from the madding crowd, here's our very own Himalayas right here in Paris with the Photographic Exhibition- Water, treasure of the Himalayas. This free exhibition takes us on a discovery of the Himalayas that fascinates the world with its beauty and its excesses through photographs by Jean Philippe and the text of geographist-anthropologist Serge Verliat. While you are there, plan your trip to include free activities for young and adults on Saturdays around the theme of the exhibition. For the month of December, these include narration of the tale 'Guésar et le roi-démon' by Tibetan lama Tenzin Gönpo and Pascal Fauliot; Screening of Eric Valli's 'Himalaya, enfance d’un chef' and creative workshops. Comptoirs de l'Inde promises to take visitors to the Ganges with its photo exhibition.

 

Take a journey through India and France with French painter Nadine Le Prince's exhibition Indian Passion at her Paris studio and workshop. Nadine is a Parisian artist who devotes her time between her studio in Rajasthan where she paints Indian subjects and in Paris where she returns to her French roots. She wil be happy to talk you through her painting subjects and share her passion for India with you.

 

2011 marks the 150th anniversary of poet Rabindranath Tagore. There have been celebrations on different occasions by UNESCO throughout the world. South Asian Students' Association WEAST of INALCO will pay homage to the poet by staging his theatre play Chitra. This free event will be followed by refreshments.

 

Further up North East from the land of Tagore to the state of Tripura, we have Joseph Pulinthanath's beautiful film 'Yarwng' - a sensitive love story with the backdrop of lives and rehabilitation of people who were dislocated for the construction of a dam. On screen for the first time in France, the film has won several prizes at various occasions and will be screened at the Maison des Cultures du Monde under the context of Program Sorosoro of the Chirac Foundation that works to preserve and protect the language of the world. Under the same program, conference on India will present Irène Frain, author of various books on India, who will talk about the cases of the Bishnoïs of Rajasthan that have strict precepts with regards to the respect of the nature. Great Indian linguist Anvita Abbi will try to tackle the question of disappearance of languages and related learnings by taking an example of the Andaman islands. Attend this free program under Conferences and videos- India, Africa and Overseas.

Paris organic Christmas

 

We haven't forgotten our little readers. Here are some free activities for children throughout the month. If you wish to indulge, take your family on a voyage to ancient India with Emmanuel de Lattre's narration of Vikram and Vetal through his show The King and the Corpse - an interactive and intuitive narration of four enigmas where the public gets immersed in Indian wisdom through French expression.

 

Ten years after the enormous success of Omkara, the Indian dancer-musician Raghunath Manet and the famous jazz violin player Didier Lockwood get back together at Théâtre de la Gaîté Montparnasse for Omkara II, their new show devoted to the magic of artistic and cultural miscegenation between dance and music at the heart of improvisation. Disciple of Swamimalai K. Rajaratnam and Srimati Kalanidhi Narayanan, Priyadarsini Govind will present a bharatnatyam recital at Guimet museum. Padam Shri Chitra Visweswaran will head the troupe of six dancers and four musicians for a recital of bharatnatyam at Adyar theatre. Kawa brothers, Aurélie Oudiette- disciple of Pandit Birju and Jai Kishan Maharaj will perform at Mandapa Center in addition to the concert 'A Bengali Winter' and theatre for young public 'Nartaki- an Indian dancer'.

 

Two Bollywood style soirées promise Indian chart busters for all tastes with subcontinental and Mauritian DJs- Soirée «Bollywood N' Sega» with DJ Briani Poulet and DJ Was and Soirée Bollywood Airlines where DJs Ajay, Anand, Midou and Sham will present their new album 'Destination Bollywood Mix'. For celebrating new year's eve, two Indian associations have come forward to offer Indian style parties- India Culture in collaboration with caterer Canabady and DJ Faraz in Bobigny offer Mughai dinner, show and dance evening and Indian Paradiz with Brazilian and Oriental dancers, Bollywood/ Kollywood group Polladhavan, the group Gipsy Kerap from India who'll fly in specially for the occasion and a live concert with Desi Boome !

 

If you want to discover or rediscover Paris this holiday season, start with a superb aerial view of the Louvre, Tuileries gardens, Montmartre, Sacré-Cœur, the Champs-Elysées and the Eiffel tower among other with a ride on the ferris wheel at Concorde for a nominal price.

 

We understand that certain organisers have their hands full and can't send us their event listings till the very last minute, so best check us out on Facebook and Twitter for events update as we are constantly adding events as and when they are sent to us.

 

Have a fun, free and 'fastoche' holiday season !