Pre-prep had a visitor today from ACTION AID, Helen Cubitt, who talked to the boys about life in the village and particularly about the school the Indian children went to. We were fascinated to hear that on the 20 minute walk to the jeep which doubled as the school bus, the children may meet honey bears, tigers or elephants! Fancy meeting an elephant on the way to school! There were 30 children in the jeep which must have been cosy. No seat belts there! The Pre-prep boys heard about the sorts of lessons which the children had, the equipment in the classroom (very little) and playtimes where cricket featured very heavily! They also discovered that at the end of the day when lessons had finished the children were expected to clean the school before going home!
After break Year 2 were shown the Indian flag and the meanings of the colours of the flag. Orange for Courage, green for Growth and white for Peace with the Wheel of Law in the centre. Some of the boys knew that there were 24 points in the wheel and we decided this was for 24 hours in the day where you had to abide by the rules of the land. The boys then made lovely flags. Helen has also brought in some Indian Shalwar Kameez and other outfits for us to try. on. We were then given a Bindi on our foreheads to show blessing.
Helen then gave us an artefact quiz where items from India were put around the classroom with questions to be answered, for example ‘Smell the sandalwood soap and work out what city it was made in? What is the soap dish made from?’ (the answer was Mysore and a half coconut). We also saw a cooking pot, a water carrier, bangles, pestle and mortar and several other items.
Finally, we learned about the Tamil alphabet and wrote our names in Tamil before completing a word challenge.
It was a wonderful morning spent learning about culture in Chembakolli, Tamil Nadu State and we extend a big thank you to Helen and Action Aid.