Yugal Kunj in Duluth Hosts First Annual Cultural Program
A scene from the performance: Naradji asking the gopis for help.
May 15th marked a momentous milestone for Yugal Kunj when it presented its very first annual cultural program to a packed Kripalu Bhavan (prayer hall). More than 80 kids and adults showed off their newly acquired talents through a rich assortment of vocal, instrumental, and dance performances. A sprinklings of skits depicting Radha-Krishna leelas added dazzle to the show that had a 300 strong audience riveted for the entire two hours.
The performers who basked in the spotlight that evening were students of Gurukul and Harmony Youth Center programs. The Gurukul program at Yugal Kunj offers students a learning environment that emphasizes living a life in harmony with Vedic principles. The classes offered under this program focus on Hinduism, ethics, and morals.
The cultural program commenced under the auspices of Siddheshvari Devi Ji (Respectfully addressed as Didi Ji), the founder of Yugal Kunj who provides spiritual guidance for all programs that Yugal Kunj offers to the community.
Tabla performance by students.
As the audience settled in the hall, the program started with shlokas, followed by an enactment of Ahilya’s liberation by Shri Ram. The hall frequently burst into applause as the students entertained the audience with melodious vocal and instrumental performances, including the harmonium, dholak, and tabla. The ovation continued as an ornately dressed Radha, Krishna, and the gopis filled the stage with splendor, performing a variety of skits and dances. In their own adorable way, the children conveyed the message of selfless love for God to attain unlimited ananda, or bliss. The program ended on a high note with traditional and Bollywood dances.
The Radha-Krishna dance.
Every element of the program reflected the learning that Gurukul and Harmony Youth Center programs had imparted to their students during these past months. As the program coordinators recognized the teachers and leaders who helped run these classes at Yugal Kunj, Didi Ji blessed them and presented them with a token of appreciation for their dedication towards making a difference in the community.
In closing, Didi Ji spoke about the importance of children understanding the essence of Hinduism through Vedic principles, and the crucial role that parents play in providing the right learning environment to their children. She emphasized the significance of spirituality in an era where we are continually stressed in our social, academic, and work environments.
After the program, everyone enjoyed the fresh vegetarian dinner served by volunteers in the dining hall.
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