Culture is an inherent part of learning at Hari Shree. UTSAV is a salutation and celebration of our culture. UTSAV was an immersive learning experience where children inquired into culture, traditions and practices through field visits, lecture demonstrations, short films and interactive sessions with eminent people from various walks of life. Children were involved in research and presentations about various facets of culture, supported by their teachers. It was an opportunity for learners of Hari Shree to reflect on the meaning of ‘why we do what we do’ as part of culture and come in contact with the wisdom that is being lost in an increasingly changing world.

Grade II – Festivals

The students of Grade II celebrated Utsav in a unique way and acquired an in-depth understanding of the rituals and practices that are dwindling. They were briefed about the meaning and tradition attached to each festival. The entire atmosphere was filled with joy and enthusiasm during the Utsav celebration. All the classrooms including the corridors were adorned with decorations. Cultural programmes and other interrelated activities formed a part of the festive celebrations. Field visit and interaction with guest speakers allowed students to gain a deeper insight into our festivals.

Grade III – Folk Tales

For the students of grade III the journey of Utsav began with a field trip to Dakshinachitra. Here, they were exposed to the theme “Folk Tales” through a shadow puppet show. Various interactive sessions were conducted by storytellers like Dr. Eric Miller , Ms Janaki Sabesh and Ms Vasugi Ram Manohar. During the Utsav week a puppet show was performed by Ms Lalitha Srinivasan and Ms. Radha Krishnan. Through this the students learnt about various kinds of puppets and the origin of Panchatantra tales, Jataka tales and other Indian folk lore. A village scene, court from Akbar Birbal stories, puppet theatre itself for narrating stories were some of the highlights of the process. As culmination, the students performed a puppet show for the second graders.

Grade IV – Traditional Games

Grade 4 students were introduced to forgotten games of yore like Five stones, Pallankuzhi, Aadupuli aatam, Paramapadham, Panchkone, Pagadai Aatam etc. Students were also encouraged to play outdoor games like Bambaram and kho-kho. They were excited to watch Durai anna’s Silambam, Surul and Kayiru pandham demonstrations. Mrs. Malini Ravindran interacted with the students about the values of such traditional games. Children also actively participated in Dr. Karthik Kailash’s session and discussed how playing traditional games promotes fitness and well-being. Having learnt in detail about each game, the students of grade four built models of different traditional games and displayed the rules of each game in their classes. This was shared with the students of grade 5 during a gallery walk. Students reflected that playing such games help in building their focus, balance, counting, logical reasoning and coordination.

Grade V – Music & Dance

The students of Grade 5 took Music and Dance of our country as their theme. The teachers became storytellers and narrated stories about different composers and their compositions. Mr Murali Krishna spoke about the presence of music in and around us. Mr Anil Srinivasan conducted a session on raagas. Other sessions included those with Ms Savitha Narasimhan and R P Sharvan. Mrs Laasya performed the Simhanandini Natya, where a dancer outlines a lion on ‘kolam podi’ during the performance . Ms Swarnamaalya Ganesh shared her knowledge about the dance form “Sadhir” which was performed by Devadasis. An interactive session by Ms. Chitra helped the students know more about the Baduga community. The students also visited “The Kalakshetra Foundation”, an arts and cultural academy dedicated to the preservation of traditional values in Indian art and crafts especially in the field of Bharatanatyam and Gandharvaveda music.

Grade VI – Food as Medicine

6th grade was given the topic ‘Food in Medicine’. The journey started off with a session on food as medicine in Indian history with Mrs. Jaya Subramaniam, followed by a visit to a herbal garden. This gave them an opportunity to learn about many ayurvedic plants and their purposes. Then, they enjoyed a discussion on healthy recipes with Mrs. Prabha, and even tried making some of the delectables! Following this, they made a trip to ‘Danyam Organic Stores’ and learnt about soil fertility, the beneficial uses of copper and more. They were in for a surprise when a stall, ‘The Dhabba Chetty Kada’, was set up in our very own campus. The session about musical notes and compositions from ‘The Sargam School of Music’ was very well received by students. Many musicians graced the audience with their talent; a few of the students also got to showcase their prowess at playing musical instruments! The session with Mrs. Divya Devgupatapu, a dancer, brought the whole experience together.

                                                                                                – S Parvatha Vardhini, grade VI

Grade 7 Weaves of India

Utsav, at its heart, is a celebration of life – this was what Mr. Siddharth Chandrasekar explained to the students in an interesting and enlightening session during Utsav. There was an inter-active session with Mrs. Sumathi on the ‘madisar’ style of draping a saree. This was followed by a field visit to ‘Kalakshetra’ to discover the wonders of the weaving unit and watching the block printing method to looms. The next session was with Ms. Aditi on weaving with a charka (a spinning wheel) – where the students got to weave a small carpet. The students had an enjoyable session with our very own Erika Acharya on block printing, using vegetables and paints. They also got to make a colourful carpet using old sarees and participated in a discussion with Mrs. Savita and Mrs. Divya on the relevance of culture.

 - S Aswath Ramanathan Sai, grade VII

Grade 8 Temple and Temple Ecosystems

The students of class VIII had fun and informative sessions on the topic ‘Temple Architecture and Ecosystems’. They visited the Goshala at ‘The Madras Pinjrapole’ where we learnt about cows and their importance in Indian culture. Mr. Siddharth Chandrasekar guided the students on a morning walk at The Kapaleeshwar Temple, which was a truly enlightening experience. Next, Mrs. Savita Narasimhan talked about the types of Indian music and dance forms which, an accomplished Bharatnatyam dancer, Mrs. Divya Devguptapu, demonstrated. In a pottery and sculpture workshop with Mr. Thiagarajan students got a hands-on experience of making a Ganesha idol in under 10 minutes. Other engaging sessions, included one on Kumbh Mela and vibrance of life in India with Mr. D.V. Sridharan, one on the Vedas with Mr. Jyotiraditya and an astronomy session with Mrs. Smriti and Ms. Pragya.

- Shreya Uday Kumar and Sri Varshinee, grade VIII

Grade X and XII

UTSAV was a deep learning engagement in which students from Grade 12 actively took part. Through field visits, guest lectures and various demonstrations and interactive sessions with eminent personalities in various fields, the students were immersed in the culture, tradition and art of India. They were encouraged to research, experience and reflect on various topics of Indian culture and the meaning of why we do what we do as a part of our culture. The students presented their findings on various topics including dance, music, textiles, food, handicrafts, etc. The students attended many sessions conducted by renowned personalities. A session on Ramayana by Mr and Mrs Hari, Ms Chitra Madhavan’s discourse about temples and interesting facts, a session on astronomy by Ms Smrithi Adinarayan and Shri DV Shridharan’s experience at the Kumbh Mela were surely intriguing and thought provoking.

- Sneha Krishnan, grade XII



Comments are closed.