Bal Utsav 2012 @ Monash
9am – 5pm, 14th July 2012
Waverley Meadows Primary School, 11 Columbia Drive, Wheelers Hill, VIC 3150
“Kreeda, Khood and Kulture” is the theme of Bal Utsav 2012, where kids from diverse backgrounds came together to have a fun filled active day. Every year Melbourne’s cold winter warms up to this cultural workshop for kids under 12 years.
The Bal Utsav workshop conducted by Vishva Hindu Parishad of Victoria aims at creating awareness of South East Asian culture, traditions and heritage in children. It introduces them to the essential values of Sanatana Dharma through activities such as slokas, yoga, craft and traditional Indian games. This year it was held on 14th July at Waverley Meadows Primary School in Wheelers Hill, Melbourne and was attended by over forty children.
AUM chanting with slokas gave an auspicious start to Bal Utsav. Children chanted five Nitya Smarana slokas, their meaning and significance was explained to them. It was heartening to see that most participants knew at least one sloka, thanks to the efforts of their parents at home.
Children were then introduced to spoken Sanskrit through an interactive voculabury building words session. “In recent times spoken Sanskrit is gaining momentum all over the world, the teaching techniques adopted make this a fun activity”, Smt Prem Arya, Sanskrit teacher explained.
This was followed by a calming yoga session conducted by Sri Arvind Joshi of Vasudeva Kriya Yoga studio. The Bala yoga included the basic yoga postures and pranayama.
After the morning snack break, the children were divided in to three groups and presented with some challenging brainteasers and memory games. To rest their mind and body, delicious vegetarian lunch was then served by a caring group of volunteers. The Anna dathas of the day, Smt Himali Parekh and Smt Aparna’s efforts were much appreciated by all.
The afternoon started with the “Leaf Ganesh” craft activity where children worked in small groups to create an attractive Ganesh Ji. This was followed by traditional Indian games led by Sri Abhijit Bhide, well supported by – Sri Praveen Trivedi, Smt Shradha Apte and Mridula Atnerkar. “ We encourage activity based learning and this segment is especially designed to encourage team work and attentiveness,” said Sri Praveen Trivedi of HSS Melbourne.
To top up their spent energies from a very energetic games session, children were then served cakes and hot chocolate.
City of Monash’s Ex Mayor Cr Charlotte Baines was the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony of Bal Utsav. Cr Baines is no stranger to Bal Utsav, having attending one couple of years ago, she said she was delighted to be part of the program – “City of Monash is home to a diverse cultural groups and encourages communities to celebrate their rich cultures”.
“Programs like Bal Utsav provide a helping hand to parents in teaching children about their culture” said Smt Geeta Devi, President of VHP Victoria. Another uniqueness about Bal Utsav is it is a melting pot. “The participants and volunteers are from nine different language backgrounds, showcasing our culture’s unity in diversity factor one more time”, she explained.
For the closing ceremony children chanted slokas, much to the surprise of everyone children as young as five were able to recite Sanskrit slokas well. Cr Baines presented certificates to children and felicitated volunteers. Smt Mahitha Cherukuwada and Dr Deepthi Iyer thanked the volunteers for their selfless work and City of Monash for their support.
Dr Mohan Yellisetty one of the organizers, said the success of Bal Utsav can be summarized in the parting response of parents and children – “when is the next one?” The young ones had some great of memories of Kreeda, Khood and Kulture to take home.
VHP Victoria also conducts Bala Samskar Kendra (BSK) a Sunday school program for children aged five to twelve. For enrollment details contact Geeta on 0423 297 666 or email email@example.com.