Children Discover Hindu Heritage at Camp
The Atlanta chapter of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) organized Hindu Heritage Camps for more than 200 Hindu-American kids in metro Atlanta during their Spring Break from April 3-9. The camps which were held at various locations of Lake City, Marietta, Alpharetta, Duluth and Norcross saw children spending a week learning about their rich culture and heritage.
Engaging and exciting, the camp focused on imparting information on Hindu culture, its traditions, customs, and `sanskaars' (values) in a dynamic way.
The day began with the assembly, introduction, and orientation to the participants. This was followed by Yoga, `Suryanamaskar' and cultural games expressing various traditional and cultural values. The children were told about the significance of the Hindu greeting of `namaste', meaning, "I bow to the divinity within you". Other games such as Ram-Sita, Sudarshan Chakra etc explained many religious-cultural concepts in a fun way.
The afternoon began with an introduction to Hindu Arts in which Chandrika Chandran, Director of `Natyanjali', showcased a composite recital of the various dance genres of India. An engaging, practical session introduced the participants to the Bharatnatyam form of classical dance.
Arts and Crafts sessions included a Drawing competition based on the theme of Diwali. The participants were explained about the significance of saffron in Hindu culture as it symbolizes fire or `Agni', which in turn symbolizes purity.
The camp song combined inspirational devotional aspects of Dharma and was titled `Sacchaa veer bana de maa' Shlokas such as the Bhojan Mantra and the `Deepojvalanam Mantra' that are recited before eating and while lighting a lamp, respectively, were taught, too. Parents whose children had the privilege of attending such camps were all praises for this opportunity that enabled their off springs to learn the deeper meaning of the Hindu religion.
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