R-Day celebrations evoke Gandhi & Martin Luther
ST. LOUIS: On Sunday, January 29 at 10 am, the auditorium at Ladue Middle School was almost full with families from the Center of Indian Cultural Education, Bal Vihar, St. Louis and youth performers of Gitana Production’s tour of Living the Dream. The occasion was to celebrate Republic Day but one could not help feel the blessings of Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King.
More than 300 people witnessed India’s 63rd Republic Day celebration event where Bal Vihar children hoisted the Indian and American National flags followed by the National Anthems by the Bal Vihar orchestra. Gitana Production from St. Louis opened their 2012 season with an amazing play about Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King. The attendees of the event visited amazing and unique display about food, dress, life style, history of each state of India prepared by groups of the Bal Vihar school. The event concluded with remarks by the President of Bal Vihar.
After a magnificent opening ceremony, an ensemble of actors and dancers comprising African, American, Mexican, Ethiopian, and Caucasian youth performed to both Indian and American music telling stories about everyday life where choices are made by youth to either love or hate one another. The scenes provided opportunities to teach the principles of Gandhi and Dr. King as they apply to situations at home, in the school and within the community. The actors gave tribute to Gandhi and King pointing out that “we must make the change to a better world.” They spoke of the violence around the world and repeated those words with heartfelt conviction.
Based on the many ovations and the engagement of the children in the audience, the play was enjoyed immensely.
Bal Vihar is a nonprofit organization that provides Indian cultural education to students age 5-18. Students are 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.” Students from Bal Vihar St. Louis had a display on “States of India” and each class put up a booth to display the state.