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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Festivities at Mitraniketan



My time in Mitraniketan coincided fortuitously with two festivals, Gandhi Jayanti (to commemorate Gandhi’s birthday), and Vijayadasami, a annual ritual in which young children are initiated into the ‘world of letters’. The children’s fingers are guided to form the first three letters of the Malayalam alphabet, through a plate of rice.

At Mitraniketan, the festivities began on the evening of the 1 Oct, when the auditorium’s stage was decked in lights. Offerings of books, musical instruments and food were made to the Goddess of Learning, Saraswathi. It school community gather to sing and pray.

The following morning the assembly gathered again with more music. The Director of Mitraniketan, Sri K Vishwanthan then welcomed the youngest children to his lap, where helped them make their first letters. A few words were spoken too about Gandhi and his contribution to the educational philosophy of Mitraniketan and there was lots more singing.



The pupils then were all treated to a banana leaf full of goodies; sweet sticky rice, cakes and some savoury snacks (delicious, I can testify!), which Vishwanathan’s daughters had stayed up most of the night cooking.

Delightful!

1 Comments:

Anonymous DannyK. said...

My name is Dan Kohler. I was at Mitraniketan with my mother, Dr. Jean Kohler when I was a boy. I miss Mitraniketan and the people there. Thanks for posting this.

5:44 a.m.

 

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