Children love to make noise and this cultural module allows them to do just that. Blowing the elephant horn isn't easy though and many don't make any noise at all. It gets more interesting and enjoyable when the teachers have a go and we've seen many red faces for more than one reason in this very exciting and popular workshop.
A scene depicting the meeting between Guru Nanak and A Muslim priest in Mecca from a Sikhism workshop. Children are fully involved with the dressups and activities during the presentation. Teachers usually comment on how well the pupils absorb information and remember the days fun learning activities.
Children get to dress up in majestic and colourful costumes as popular Hindu demigods and goddesses such as Ganesh, Durga, Shiva, Kuvera, Sarasvati, and the lovable hero of the Diwali story Hanuman. They also dressup as as incarnations of Vishnu like the amazing Lord Nara-simhadeva the half man - half lion avatar celebrated in the next workshop in the Holi festival story. Two pupils will sometimes dress up as the supreme all pervading Lord Vishnu or Krishna and His consort Laxmi or Radha.
Post workshop activities may include making yak tail whisks out of paper and cardboard as seen above or Diwali diyas using clay molds. We offfer many ideas regarding helping to deepen the children's understanding and overall experience they received throughout the particular workshop.
Kavita's expertise in hand and face painting is fully utuilised during the mock wedding workshop. Pupils also get their face painted during other workshops too. We use high quality non toxic face paint from Hobbycraft (Snazaroo) and hypo-allergenic ink in the shape of elephant, peacock and flower stamps that easily wash off.
Fun Learning is second to none, especially when it comes to our extensive wardrobe. There's no 'one size fits all' here! We have over 100 costumes to fit all year groups and sizes of children. Everyone gets a chance to experience how a god or goddess must feel when they are dressed up to go out on their tiger or swan.
This workshop takes the children on a tour famous holy tirthas in India. There are literally thousands of pilgrimage sites and we visit important places such as Bhadrik Ashram in North India, Rameshvaram in the South, Puri in the East and Dwarka Dham in the West. The workshop contains an iinsite on the holy rivers like Ganges and Yamuna and sacred places like Vrindavan, Ayodhya and Sridham Mayapura.
Young minds are naturally inquisitive about life and as the workshops progress children begin to ask more and more questions. Therefore this is a great opportunity for them to ask as many questions as possible and find out more about India and her history and rich culture. Even the teachers ask questions and there is a great sense of sharing.
Holi is a dynamic Hindu festival, mainly because it is a full of fun and colours and celebrates Spring. It also includes the story of saintly young boy Prahalad and how he was saved from his demonic father and evil aunt Holika by an incarnation of Vishnu as Narasimhadeva in the form of half man and half lion.
Diwali focuses on the story of Sita and Ram and the ten headed demon Ravana. Children especially enjoy play acting this story and dressing up as the monkey warrior hero Hanuman.
This workshop is so much fun and very interesting as well. Many children and teaching staff may not be aware of just how much variety of food can be prepared from vegetarian recipies. Hundreds of rice, curry, lentil, bread, sweet and savoury dishes are displayed in this workshop. All the spices and system of spicing food is explained along with their different health benefits.
A Mehndi Art workshop is a great way of learning about other cultures as well as faiths. Children get to design their own mehndi and apply the henna for themselves or we apply their designs for them. The workshop fee is less than other sessions due to there being no display setup.
The Chinese calender is based on the story of how Buddha invited the animals to attend a meeting in the forest. Only twelve animals decided to show up and they became the twelve months of the Chinese year. Each special animal represents certain traits and characteristics of the human being born in their month. Everyone becomes curious to find out what animal or bird they are.
After the workshop is over, teachers can engage the children in drawing and writing thank you letters.
Here children have the chance to play the parts in the story of Siddhartha's transformation into the Buddha. They also get to experience how a young Buddhist monk has to learn the art of tolerance and humility. They also have a go at playing the singing bowl, banging the gong and enacting the life story of Buddha.
The Sikhism workshop offers many facets of the Sikh faith. From paying a visit to the Gurudwara (Temple) and listening to the Sikh priest reading from the holy book Guru Granth Sahib, to enacting the story of 10th Guru Shree Govind Singhji. Bhangra dance is also a popular part of this most exciting and colourful workshop.
The Navratri stick dance (dandiya rasa garbha), is very popular around the Diwali time. Children and teachers enjoy dancing so we always include a long session. We also introduce many dances like a village dance seen above. Dances range from the traditional Bharat Nathyam to modern shoulder swinging and bulb changing Bollywood style.
Buddha Day is celebrated in the month of May by over 360 million Buddhist throughout the world. This fantastic workshop has many features such as practicing focusing the mind in meditation and doing breathing excersizes, learning about the law of karma, vegetarianism,
dressing up as a Buddhist monk and lots more.
Mock wedding modules are running throughout this summer term. Children experience the colour and fun of a Hindu wedding. The bride and groom are chosen by their teacher. The class role play as best man, brides maids, family and friends. Everyone gets to play a part, even the teachers get dressed up. Click on the photo above to see video footage.
In this respect workshop the pupils get opportunity to say thank you to their teachers for teaching them and tolerating occasional misbehaviours. This is in the ancient Hindu tradition of Sarasvati Puja. Students place a graland of flowers around the neck of their teacher in gratitude for their service.
This module is well liked by
everyone. Children get an opportunity learn about the historical importance of Vaisakhi and how it is celebrated today. They also learn about Sikhism in 15th to 18th century India up to the modern day. Children dress up as Sikh men and women and enjoy dancing to Bhangra beats. The story line enacted is of the last Sikh Guru Govind Singh enlisting his warriors to fight against tyranny and oppression.
Meditation (dhyaan) and contemplation (dharana) is practiced by both Hindus and Buddhists. One of our most popular workshops is the meditation competition where the best meditator wins a prize. Teachers are often startled at how well behaved the children are during this session.
Creation (Srishtii) and destruction (Pralaya) are two constants in the material world. In this workshop we depict through a narrative play how this universe is manifested and the planets, demigods, men, animals and other species of life are created. The concept of recycling is not a new one and we explain this within the module.
Younger children can't grasp the information and interactive opporunities offered to the older ones. So we have some special workshops for the wee ones to dress up and use their tactilian abilities to learn more about other cultures and faiths. They have so much fun and excitement during the workshop and their teacher also enjoy the experience.
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