As people living far away from India, there are many times that we have missed giving our kids the experience of celebrating Republic Day In India. If you were a parent in Chinmaya Gurukul though , you would have got your wish. What a joyful and patriotic celebration we had on 29th January.
Raji headed a team of volunteers who had decorated the entire stage with different tricolored decorations including Indian flags. Even our Sundar Krishna was flanked by 2 flags . The instructions had been handed out to parents and volunteers had arranged blue tape around the Main Hall where the parade was to take place.
As I walked in at 9:00 there was quivering excitement in the air. The dining room had all the little ones in wonderful costumes with parents, teachers and volunteers helping to get them in line .
In the Main hall, volunteers had re arranged the seating arrangement , so the little ones could go around. They were handing out flags to any kids who had forgotten to get their own . All the adult volunteers were enthusiastically waving flags and on cue the audio system started playing out various patriotic songs. Now everyone was getting into the mood , singing along and waving their flags.
After Gurustotram, everything was set . To the strains of ‘Chak De India,’ the little ones started the parade. The teachers led and carried the flags. I looked on as Krishnas , Radha, Hanuman, Rama, Devis, Saraswati , Lokmanya Tilak, a number Rani Jhansis, Bhagat Singh, Bharatiyar, Subhash Chandra Bose, some lady bugs, and so many other wonderfully dressed kids walked by. It was all done in an orderly fashion, and the audience(parents, kids and teachers) cheered on. Parents of kids participating also got a vantage viewpoint to take pictures. After the kids were done, the volunteers took center stage for a few minutes, so we could recognize them . There were shouts of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Hind’ after which the older kids took the mic to sing the American National Anthem followed by the Indian National Anthem . Everyone stood up and joined in. What a wonderfully proud moment it was to salute both our Motherland and our adopted Homeland. After the aarti, the plate for which was also wonderfully decorated in tricolored rice, the kids were dispersed off to their classes.
Raji and team had to recreate all of this for the second session which also went off without a hitch . The work was not done yet. All of the chairs that had been moved also had to be moved back in ,rearranged and the main hall cleaned up .
This was our first time hosting the Republic Day Parade in our own Ashram. And what a wonderful start it was . This was only possible because of the dedication and creativity of all the volunteers . Jai Hind!!!
Here’s a video that captures all the fun moments. Please like, subscribe and share .