from Standards III to IX were yet again fortunate in the School’s Golden
Jubilee year, as they got an opportunity to enjoy a Manipuri dance recital
by the famous Jhaveri Sisters, Darshana and Ranjana. This programme was
organised by SPICMACAY, an organisation that promotes Indian classical music
and culture among the youth. This dance form is from the picturesque valleys
of Manipur, and describes the legends of Shiva ?Parvati’s Raas Leela
Darshana. It originates in a temple tradition patronised by society. People
perform Raas in obeisance to Lord Krishna, and Sankirtana is performed as a
life cycle of rituals. Women perform this classical dance during ceremonies
like childbirth, ear piercing, wearing the sacred thread, weddings, etc.
Manipuri dance consists of Clap cholam, Kartal cholam (with cymbals) and
Pung cholam (with drums).
The children enjoyed Krishna’s Gosta Leela, starting from his childhood
pranks as a shepherd, killing demons and returning home to Yashoda’s
affectionate embrace. The dancers also explained and demonstrated the hasta
mudras (hand gestures), and our Udayachal students followed by performing
the same. These programmes help us to give our tradition a strong base and
use dance as a medium to express various feelings.
Our students thoroughly enjoyed learning dance in this interesting manner,
and one could almost hear them say, “Teacher, we want some more!?/font>
Udayachal Primary School
had a great opportunity to see the Manipuri dance. Our Principal
welcomed this opportunity so that we could gain knowledge about Indian
I liked the dance very much. The best one I liked was the Krishna and
Radha dance. I liked it because of the costumes, especially the skirt
called Makhla. I also admired the dance where the dancer portrayed the
mischief played by Lord Krishna, like breaking pots, and stealing
butter and curd.
They danced gracefully. The music was very nice. The dancers also
danced swiftly. They played the drums very well. We learnt that in
Manipuri dance, the eyes always look at the hands when they move. We
also learnt that in this dance, hands don’t go above the head or below
the knees, and their movements are circular. I would like to play the
drum as fast as they did.
organises all dances and programmes because they want young students
like us to realise our rich and varied heritage. We have many
different dance styles, with different hand gestures, eye movements
and neck movements.
I really enjoyed this show because I saw
many new things. I appreciate the way the talented dancers danced. The
beautiful, colourful costumes were very striking and attractive. The
glowing colours swayed and swam before my eyes. These dancers had
perfected the dance because of constant practice for many years. The
Jhaveri Sisters gave us a lecture demonstration about the dance. The
fact that a Greek girl had learnt the Manipuri dance, really surprised
me. The dance was exotic. The graceful movements enchanted me. It was
a lovely experience.
were excited to have such great dancers from SPICMACAY performing a
dance in our School. This programme was organised so that we can learn
about the cultural variety of our country, and about different
classical dances. We admired the costumes of different dance styles.
These programmes help us keep our rich heritage with us.
I liked this programme because of the music and the songs. All the
dancers danced gracefully. I liked learning the mudras, which are
necessary for dance. I liked their slow as well as fast dancing steps.
At the end of the show, I felt that I should also be able to perform
the dance and be a great dancer like them.
Schools have time and again played host to several visitors ?children,
teachers, teacher-trainers and teacher-trainees, heads of institutions,
corporate visitors, heads of States?the list is endless.
However, it was a group of about 17 people who came to Udayachal Primary
School on 16 March, 2005, which merits special mention. They were a group of
physicians, all of Pakistani descent, settled in the United States. What
they had in mind was simple ?reach out to their Indian brethren in a spirit
of camaraderie and offer the hand of friendship.
To be in their company was a delightful experience. Simple and humble, they
truly enjoyed the company of children and interacted with them. The little
ones were fascinated watching their own photographs on digital cameras. The
children also loved the praises showered upon them for their drawing and
creative work. Some children even presented their handwork articles
spontaneously to their guests. Our doctor guests even tried their hand at
the puzzles in our apparatus hall. The children willingly ran to their
rescue whenever the doctors were “stuck?
As we went around, we entered a classroom of Standard III (Lovika Teacher’s)
where children were learning division, using pistachio shells. It was here
that the children wanted to ask our guests several questions ?who they
were, where they came from, what kind of work they did, etc. Then came a
question, which resulted in an embarrassed silence for some moments ?“How
much money do you earn??One of the doctors pointed to the President of
their organisation, saying, “He will answer this question.?The President,
Hussain Malik, gave a slightly indirect reply, talking about different
doctors doing different kinds of work and earning accordingly. One of the
doctors simply held his arms outstretched, palms facing each other and said,
The guests had their own turn, too, at asking questions: What did the
children do in School? What did they do at home? Did they travel? Then came
the question: “Would you like to be in another school instead of this one??
The answer was a unanimous “No? And the reasons given by the children were
varied, ranging from the facilities in our School, to having kind-hearted
and loving teachers, to “because we have visitors like you?
Truly, any adult would be delighted to be in the company of children. They
are so transparent, straight-forward and enthusiastic! They have the
capacity of transporting anyone into their charming world.
Udayachal Primary School