Middle Park primary school had invited us previously to participate in their grade 4 incursion day and their annual carnival, but today we were here to participate in their grade 1/2 incursion day which had the theme of culture & celebration. We always offer schools the opportunity to choose what parts of our program interests them and is in line with theme being taught in class. This time around Middle Park primary thought that Music & dance and traditional wear fitted best with their days activities.
During the traditional wear workshop our presenter Rati spoke about and showed a power point on the different types of Indian clothing, types of food served during different celebrations (mainly focusing on sweets), how during some celebrations fireworks are used. She discussed different coloured powders used for ‘The festival of colours’ (traditionally known as Holi) and showed flowers and flower garlands used during festival times. Rati then asked the students how they celebrate festivals and had a discussion about this. Rati and her assistants showed the children all the different types of clothing and jewellery, before inviting the teachers to be the first ones to get dressed up. The students were so excited to see their teachers participating that it made them even more enthusiastic to get dressed up themselves. After everyone was dressed we added an extra layer of decoration by painting flowers and gopi dots on everyone’s face and adding bindi (jewel like) stickers.
In the Music & Dance workshop our presenter Yamuna Sundari spoke about the types of Indian musical instruments such as kartals (hand cymbals), mrdanga (a type of hand drum), and harmonium (a type of piano that uses bellows) and how they relate to some of the western musical instruments. The students were then shown a short video clip on some traditional instruments and how they are used during a festival or celebration. Finally the children were taught how to play the instruments and were taught different mantras that can be sung while playing these instruments. All the students, teachers and presenters sung and danced together while playing these traditional instruments. Everyone had a great time and our Festival of Vedic India team are really looking forward to going back again in a couple of weeks.