The Children at the Albert Park kinder had been excited about us doing a program there since the day we met with the teachers to arrange the program. Being a kindergarten we made a few modifications to the program from the one we usually take into primary and high schools. We had traditional Indian wear, Indian face painting, storytelling, music & dance, henna art, fancy cupcakes and garlands.
When we announced to the children it was time to get changed into some traditional Indian clothing, they all rushed with smiles on their faces to the tables where we had laid out colorful half size saris in blues, greens, and printed colours. We also had long bright green skirts with gold boarders and short tops to match. For the boys, we had long embroided multi coloured shirts with matching pants. They eagerly chose the clothing they wanted to wear and waited patiently to be helped into it. It was then time to have some face painting done and some fancy sticker stones (bhindi) put on. Both the boys and girls were as enthusiastic as each other. Some kept frequently checking how they looked in the mirror.
Faces painted and still in their traditional wear the children sat down and listened to an Indian story. The children were so attentive that when prompted they could easily recall what they had heard. Music and dance was next, where the children got to have the experience of seeing and listening to traditional Indian musical instruments such as the mrdanga, harmonium and kartals. The kids got to sing and dance to a special song along with the instruments. They had fun taking turns playing the kartals (hand cymbals). Different dance steps were taught and performed all together.
The children got changed and sat down to have some special cupcakes we had brought to share. Henna was next, which the children all eagerly waited for their turn. Their teacher announced to play till it was their turn, but they surprised the teachers by waiting and observing this unusual arat form. We had also brought some special flower garlands to show the children and present the teachers. The children and teachers loved wearing it and smelling the beautiful and colourful flowers that were threaded together.
All the children clapped and thanked us all for coming. We all had a great time.
Two days later we went back to the kindergarten and did the whole program again for a second group of excited four year olds.