About 60 children from all over Sydney and surrounding areas attended a camp to learn about Hindu/Indian culture in Baden Powell Scout Centre Pennant Hills on January 22nd 2011. The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP ) organised this camp
Mrs. Akila Ramarathiunam, jt. Secretary VHP welcomed everyone and especially Mr Devidasan from Adelide who had come all the way to Sydney to teach Yoga asanas and to observe the camp so that they can conduct a similar camp in Adelaide .
The camp started with Sloka Chanting led by Smt. Jayanthi Narayanan. This was followed by Yoga asana class by Devidasan. Devidasan informed the children yoga & Ayurveda are the two gems that India has given the rest of the world. Asanas were taught in a way that incorporated the Hindu Gods & avatars into the poses. Dhanur asana was taught as a pose resembling Lord Rama aiming His bow. Bhujanga asana was taught as a pose of Lord Krishna playing the flute. Simha asana was depicted as Narasimha avatar – pose of a Lion lunging forward and roaring. The health benefits of practicing these asanas are immense. This was a good learning exercise not only for the kids but for the parents present as well. Devidasan really transformed the children to Krishna, Rama & Narasimha.
This was followed by outdoor games and bush walking. This was a scintillating exercise both for the mind and body as during the course of the bush walk they also learnt about Hinduism & the environment. Our special thanks to HSS volunteers and youth volunteers Priya,Bhavana, Ankitha, Thanuja from Hindu Youth Australia volunteers.
The sumptuous lunch and the delicious gulab jamuns was devoured in no time as the intense physical activity gave the children a ravenous appetite.
The post lunch session was a food for mind and creative talent session. The children enjoyed singing the age old rhyme of “pussy cat pussy cat where have you been” in Sanskrit and in the process picked up a lot of Sanskrit words. They also learnt the colours in Sanskrit. May be in the next few years Sydney may have the first Sanskrit Chromatics specialist!! Sri. Narayanan & Sri. Rahul Vedi were the gurus.
The next activity was temple making. The children were showed how to make an enchanting and eye catching card board temple with the vimana, pillars, garbhagriha, and prakara. The Diety was also installed and there were all the elements of a temple like kolam (rangoli), purna kumbha & deepam. This truly was a tremendous effort. Some temples are still in the making. Once the sthapakas have concluded the work, Sydney, be ready for 56 kumbabishekams of the 56 temples!!!
Sri. Devender Gupta, vice president of Ekal Vidyalaya & Mrs. Gupta were our guests of honour. Sri. Gupta is a patron of a lot of community programs conducted by VHP and is also a part sponsor of the children’s camp. President of VHP Mr. Brij Pal Singh welcomed Mr. & Mrs. Gupta thanked them for all their support and requested that they provide their continued support to all the VHP community programs. Mr. Gupta thanked all parents for sending the children to the camp and said that he was delighted to see such activities that promote Hindu Dharma & culture being so well attended. He also mentioned that we are fortunate to call Australia our home and urged all to use all these beautiful and valuable resources to learn more and contribute both to the Australian community & to the community in India. He stressed the importance of kindness with a simple beautiful story and said kindness is very important and infectious. One small act of kindness can lead to many which in turn would benefit society as a whole.
Sri. Mehul Joshi thanked all the parents and Mr. Devidasan for all the support and help and stressed the fact that Hinduism is a very scientific religion and such activities will make everyone aware of all the wonders that Hinduism has to offer and requested that more and more parents support such camps by sending their children.
Smt. Akila Ramarathinam, Jt. Secretary of VHP shared her experiences about the VHP Hindu World conference that happened in Pune, India in December 2010. This conference was attended by VHP members from 55 different countries and Akila proudly mentioned that VHP Australia was voted number one due to the nature of the activities and programs conducted to promote Hindu culture.
Sri. Devidasan thanked VHP for giving him the opportunity to teach yoga and was proud to be following Hinduism and the path of “Sanatana Dharma”, the religion based on eternal sustaining values in life. No matter where you were born this way of life can be followed and he is an example.
The resounding “YES” from the children to the question “did you enjoy the camp” said it all.
This event would not have been possible without the huge efforts put in by the camp coordinators Sri. Mehul & Smt Joshi and all the volunteers.
Keep watching for bigger and better programs and events from VHP, until then
Dhanyavad & namasthe