Learning Universal Values
BY: A.B. SUDHINDRA
Sterling Values: Dramatic Expression
Jun 17, BANGALORE, INDIA (THE HINDU) It was a camp with a difference and the participants had a great time.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) organised a "Culture Camp" for children aged between 10 and 15 years during the summer vacation. The camps, held in three batches, culminated with "Talents Day", an ensemble of events rehearsed by the children during the camp.
According to ISKCON, the culture camp is especially designed to train a child's physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual faculties to live in harmony with himself/herself and the surrounding world. Children are also taught to handle emotions, develop independent thinking, Vedic philosophy and meditation.
The camp offered ten modules to children to choose from that included classical dance, puppetry, Yakshagana, philosophy and drama. The camp was divided into two sessions. During the Gita Course session, children learnt the principles of the Bhagvad Gita, japa meditation and bhajans. During the Module Workshop, resource persons from various fields taught the children.
Children showcased their talent and chanted slokas, presented classical dance, folk dance, Yakshagana and a Kannada drama "Sri Krishna Parijatha" on "Talents Day". Though, the three week duration was short to learn the notes of music or the rhythms of classical dance, they performed like professionals.
"We had rehearsed the drama without the costumes. Only today, we are wearing the costumes and other accessories. It was a great experience for me," said Shashank. Bharath, who participated in arts and crafts module, said that he had learnt to make clay models of various deities. "I have made Ganesha with flute and also other forms of musical instruments," he said.
Prizes were given away to the best performers in each module. Vyomapada Dasa, in-charge of Akshaya Patra programme in Brindavan honoured the resource persons. The camp was aimed at imparting an appreciation, sensitivity and commitment to universal values. ISKCON also hosts several projects for children, youth and family throughout the year in an endeavour to promote traditional Indian values. Indian Heritage Fest, Gita Fest and Culture Camp provide an opportunity for students to display their talents.