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“We all had a wonderful time. The children especially enjoyed ‘coloring’ me and each other, as we played and danced together”, explained Chaya Pamula, SOFKIN’s founder, as she described celebrating the Holi Festival with the children during her recent trip to India. John Mendes, SOFKIN child sponsor and Program Director of PamTen also accompanied Chaya to India. Holi is an ancient Hindu spring festival also known as the festival of colors and the festival of love. During the festival everyone – friends or strangers, rich or poor, children and elders – plays, chases and colors each other with dry powder and colored water. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, and even repair ruptured relationships.
On March 31st, the children celebrated ‘Ugadi’ festival, the New Year’s day for the people of the deccan region of India. The day began with preparation of ‘Ugadi Chutney’ with six tastes that symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences (sadness, happiness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise), which should be accepted together and with equanimity through the New Year. The SOFKIN homes made special dishes and enjoyed the holiday. Chaya also visited colleges in the area to finalize college admission arrangements for 2 children, Anusha and Niharika, who are ready to go to college this next academic year. In April,
SOFKIN children performed two programs of Odissi classical Indian dance. They really enjoyed learning this classical dance form and their performances met with rave reviews. Many of the children have now gone to visit their families during the one month school holiday in May. However, several of the older children stayed behind at SOFKIN in order to prepare for the entrance exams for the next school level.
All of the children will be back at SOFKIN in time to participate in a Skype call during the Rhythm 2014 event, SOFKIN’s 9th annual fundraiser, on June 7th. This will be a wonderful opportunity to interact directly with the children that you won’t want to miss!
Composed by: Barbara Whitmore
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