Festivals are a great way to celebrate heritage, culture and traditions. They are meant for us to rejoice special moments and emotions in our lives with our loved ones. They play an important role in adding structure to our social lives, and connect us with our families and backgrounds. They give us a distraction from our day to day routine, and inspire us to remember the important things and moments in life.
Festivals can be national, religious, seasonal, social, seasonal or thematic. They all serve the purpose of bringing happiness to our lives, and strengthen our sense of community.
All festivals are cultural in one way or another. India and festivals go hand-in-hand, with various colourful festivals that are celebrated all around the year. We have grown up around them and have embraced them as a part of our lives.
At Hari Shree, celebrating festivals is an integral part of the active curriculum. They pave way for learning and also building a strong cultural belief. They are an opportunity to bring out creativity, encourage camaraderie, and encourage creativity, develop organizing skills, collaboration, team work, sharing, environmental sensitivity and an appreciation that the world belongs to all. Hari Shree believes in taking it up a notch in more ways than one. Be it identifying a festival that has not been in its books before, adding an intellectual dimension, promoting a creative spirit, honouring people around or touching lives/making a difference, curiosity, abundant learning, energy and activity take centre-stage. In the background of the global perspective the school wishes to adopt, celebrating festivals provide the right platform for the students to become responsible citizens.
Some unique things about the Hari Shree festivals-
UTSAV is an annual event in Hari Shree, that celebrates Bharatiya culture, heritage and traditions. This immersive learning experience is aimed at kindling an interest to know more about our civilization.
Utsav is about exploring and experiencing culture through field visits, lecture demonstrations, seminars, workshops, short films and interactive sessions with experts from diverse fields. It is an opportunity to understand and reflect ‘why we do what we do’ and imbibe traditional wisdom, which has stood the test of time and which is being increasingly lost in a dynamically changing world.
Students are encouraged to choose projects to research based on their specific areas of interest and discussions with like-minded peers. They are encouraged to transform their classrooms into culturally rich museums with exhibitions, informative write-ups and display of musical instruments. The aim is to transcend the scope of their project and continue to provoke thoughts, ideas, questions, analyses and perspectives going forward. The festival concludes with the confidence that the next year’s will come soon enough to take a deeper plunge into India’s rich cultural heritage.
Navratri is celebrated in a festive manner every year. The students let their creative juices flow by arranging golus adorned with hand-made dolls, dolls made out of eco-friendly materials, dolls from waste, dolls that have things in common with other countries and cultures etc. Cultural programs, games and puzzle solving activities are orgnized around the thematic golus. The whole school ushers in Dussehra, dressed in colourful, traditional attire, dancing to the rhythm of dandia music.
The festival of Pongal is another much-awaited event at Hari Shree. The whole school comes together to celebrate with much pomp. Pongal is cooked on a traditional stove, and students cheer as the milk in the pot boils. Sugarcane is distributed and a cow and a calf are brought in, invoking the true spirit of the harvest festival.
Varnajala is the school’s annual art festival. The preparations for this event begin months in advance, with students from primary school all the way upto grade 12 creating their pieces – art, craft and sculpture. Teachers, staff and the helper Akkas and Annas contribute their work as well. The corridors, staircases and classrooms are lined with paintings, each unique. In spite of the pandemic, the cheer of Varnajala was not missed, taking the showcase online as a virtual exhibition.
Whenever we think or hear about the word festival, automatically a smile comes on our face. We start thinking of clothes we would wear, the food we would eat and the gifts we would exchange. But we would all agree that celebrating a special day or a spirit in school means much more than that to the child.