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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. A semester-long University of Tennessee-Knoxville celebration of the culture and history of India will include Mayor Victor Ashe and campus officials as speakers.

Ashe, who has visited India and remains a student of the Asian nation, will open “India Semester” with remarks at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 22, in the International House, 1623 Melrose Ave. Joining the mayor will be Dr. Bill Snyder, chancellor of UT-Knoxville, and Philip A. Scheurer, vice chancellor for administration and student affairs.

UT’s Center for International Education, the Committee on Asian Studies, Department of Geography, and Department of Religious Studies are sponsoring the program, which runs through May. The Indian Student Association and the Indian-American Student Association are participating.

 All “India Semester” events are open to the public and free, except for a nominal charge to sample foods at India Culture Night.

Unless indicated otherwise, all activities will be at the International House. The schedule includes:

 “India: Is It the Next China?” a lecture by Ronald Foresta, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 2; “The Mahabharata’s Book of the Women,” a lecture by James Fitzgerald, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 5; India Film Festival, Feb. 16-20, Hodges Library Auditorium; Classical and Folk Dances of India, by the local Indian community, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 24, University Center Auditorium; and “The Veda and the Making of Indian Culture,” a lecture by Patrick Olivelle, 3 p.m., Feb. 27, Hodges Library Auditorium.

 “India Within the Ganges: Perspectives on Water Development in South Asia,” a lecture by James Wescoat, 7:30 p.m., March 5; and Indian music lecture and demonstration, by Dr. Vinary Bhide of Ottawa, Canada, 7:30 p.m., March 31, University Center Auditorium,

 “Objects from India,” April 1-May 31,McClung Museum; India Culture Night, by UT-Knoxville students of Indian descent, 6 p.m., April 1; “Stepwells and the Presence of the Past in Modern India,” a lecture by Morna Livingston, 7:30 p.m., April 2; “Human Services in India,” a lecture by Dr. Tricia McClam and Dr. Marianne Woodside, noon, April 8, McClung Museum; and “Temple and Village: Patterns and Prints of India,” an exhibit at the McClung Museum, April 15-May 31.

 India was selected this semester for special recognition because of the large number of Indian students, faculty and staff at UT-Knoxville, Joe Flory, associate director of the Center for International Education, said. The center sponsored “China Semester” last fall.

 Other events and activities related to India will be added, Flory said. For more information, film festival titles and show times, or to suggest program and event ideas, call Flory at 423-974-4453.