Walking through a museum is like wandering through numerous periods of history, akin to time travel. Museums are elaborate visual representations of the past and a repository for artifacts. Ever since 1977, International Museum Day has been celebrated on May 18thby the International Council of Museums to raise awareness about the significance of museums to societal development. Museums preserve cultural heritage, glory of civilizations, societies that thrived and perished, and wars that were won and lost. They provide us a peek into the world we read about in our history textbooks, a world that may seem disconnected and irrelevant on paper but once it is enlivened with proof, a whole new perspective is formed. This year’s theme of the day is “Museums in a Changing World- New Challenges, New Inspirations.” The topic encompasses the ideal prospective of sustainable development and the issues that will be encountered in the pursuit of that endeavour. In this context, history of various subjects, including that of culture, traditions, sociology, science, ecology, technology are all relevant especially considering that progress requires integration and evolution of all these disciplines.
My favourite museum experience was last summer, when I went to Washington D.C. I visited the Museum of Natural History, National Air and Space Museum as well as the National Museum of American History, all of which added a new dimension of my sight-seeing experience. When I was in Grade 6, I remember taking a class trip to a local museum in India. We were learning about the Indus Valley Civilization, the remnants of which were merely 2 hours away from my school! I recall me and my friends being especially fascinated by the ancient gold coins.
Today, thirty thousand museums all over the world from Pakistan to Canada and Algeria to United States are holding special exhibitions and events. I think museums enhance our learning experience, allow us to revisit the past to better prepare for our future. Apart from serving as a vital source of inspiration for artists, authors, fashion designers, museums serve as a great educational tool.