ST LOUIS: For the third year in a row, Bal Vihar of St. Louis teamed up with the Hindu Temple of St. Louis to bring a fun-filled Holi celebration to the local community – the most anticipated events for Bal Vihar families.
Bal Vihar families gathered at the Mahatma Gandhi Center on Sunday April 3 for the celebration. Children were eager to finish their lunch and rush outside to have fun.
Bal Vihar families used this opportunity to mingle with others to socialize and share the joy and spirit that the occasion offers. Being so far away from the origins of their culture and having grown up in a very different set up, Bal Vihar students form part of the next generation that is keeping the culture and spirit alive while improvising it in their own way.
As with every year, children are the first ones to rush through their food and line up to get their hands on the colors. A safety session along with the instruction on enjoying festival of colors was held prior to the festival of color celebration. As soon as the first set of packets opened, the colored dust started filling the atmosphere. One could see the enthusiasm in the environment as children were running around throwing color at their parents, friends and anyone they knew. Adults could be seen applying colors to the faces and greeting each other. Within half an hour, most of them were covered in multiple colors from head to toe.
As Bal Vihar nears completing 23 successful years, its popularity has grown with over 425 students now attending classes every other Sunday. Classes are focused on their overall cultural development that includes Bhajan, Yoga and regular curriculum that includes teachings on India, its states, history, culture, neighbors etc.
Center for Indian Cultural Education – Bal Vihar of St. Louis, a non-profit organization, since its inception in 1992 has been serving the Metro St. Louis Indian community. The primary focus of this organization is to provide Indian cultural education to students age 5-18, its application and integration with the global multicultural and multifaceted society. They are also taught discipline, tolerance and devotion in their daily routine. The ultimate goal is “to throw the light of cultural knowledge on every child, to make every child an outstanding citizen and to spread the song of peace and harmony around the world.”