Ekadaksha Learning Center for Children with special needs

What we do - Ekadaksha Learning Center Chennai - By Stephen Eastop

Navaratri is celebrated in various parts of India and it is known for its colorful and lively traditions. The festival is marked by fasting,prayer,music,dance and other cultural events. The specific customs and rituals associated with Navaratri can vary from one region to another,but some common elements include: Goddess worship,dance,music and singing,cultural events and Vijayadasami.

Vijayadasami,the tenth day of Navaratri Is considered auspicious for new beginnings and it is the time people traditionally start new ventures including learning activities.

Navaratri has a spiritual significance symbolizing the victory of good over the evil. People celebrate the festival in different ways in different parts of the country.In Tamilnadu people keep "Bommagolu" where the clay dolls are displayed in decorated steps. People in North India celebrate as "Dusshera" offering puja to Maa Durga and they also do the Garba,Dandiya dance to spread cheers,happiness and togetherness.

At Ekadaksha Learning Center,Navaratri was celebrated with great excitement and enthusiasm. Children and teachers came in dressed in vibrant colors of Red,Yellow and Green. Ms.Akila, of the organizing team narrated the story of Navaratri while Ms.Madhumitha enacted it out. The evil Asura "Mahishasura" was troubling and creating menace for the children and teachers at Ekadaksha. To get rid of the asura and to escape from his troubles, everybody offered prayers to Maa Durga seeking help. As they prayed sincerely, the Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi appeared before them and helped them chase away the Asura from the Center. As the asura got scared and fled away,the children got so happy and they celebrated.

A beautiful “Ekadaksha Golu” was unveiled and it was a feast to the eyes. The art and craft works made by the children were kept in the golu steps along with  dolls, puppets and other things of significance which are used as teaching-learning materials. It was an exciting moment indeed. 

This was followed by a graceful “Kolattam” done by the teachers of Ekadaksha. Kolattam is one of the most popular dance narratives in the Southern part of India.It is a rural art usually performed during village festivals. It is a combination of rhythmic movements,songs and music and is done using wooden sticks.

After the Kolattam dance,it was time for a photo session. Each class took a group photograph beautifully posing near the "Ekadaksha Golu".

It was then time for the most awaited and exciting part of the celebration - Yes ,Garba and Dandiya time which our children loved the most. They had been practicing for two weeks and were eagerly waiting for the performance to happen. Children and teachers formed a big circle. They enjoyed doing the Garba by clapping hands and twirling. The Dandiya dance with Dandias(Wooden sticks) was full or energy with teacher going around in a circle and playing with each child. The entire space was filled with the vibrant energy and sounds of music, wooden sticks and claps. 

The children and teachers also had a treat of yummy snacks - The traditional kesari and sundal.

Click here to see the grand festivities. 

Click here to see videos of the grand festivities. 

Navaratri,Dusshera and Vijayadasami signify the victory of good over evil.They teach us that even the most powerful evil forces can be defeated if we have faith and determination.Lets have faith in the divine and believe the divine powers will help us chase the bad in us and all around us,so that,good things will fill within us and around us.

Happy Navaratri and Vijayadasami.

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