Thursday, March 3, 2011

Beyond borders

                                                                                                             Roshni Ghosh
                                                                            Teacher,Loreto Day School Sealdah
In the month of February, 2011, a group of enthusiastic teachers and students paid us a visit. We have shared a very fruitful partnership program with John Scottus School in Dublin, Ireland for a long time. The student group comprised girls and boys of 15 to 17. Their time here was spent in joyful interaction with students of Loreto Sealdah on topics ranging from differences between the geographical, historical, cultural features of the two countries to the youth of today, their lives, dreams , aspirations, frustrations as well as their thoughts about society, its norms, important social institutions like marriage and so on. Many of the students fearlessly voiced their preferences as well as grievances and were surprised to see that in spite of many differences in lifestyle many of the problems faced by the youth of India were similar to the ones faced by their counterparts in another part of the world. Also, the realization that there were very serious problems existing even in first world countries dawned on them, pointing to the fact that not only is money not the solution to all problems, but often it creates some rather unique ones. On the lighter side students exchanged views on music, dance, literature, film and many demonstrated their musical and artistic talents. Both groups learned new things and shared them in an open house. Their experiences on a trip to the Sundarbans and a school construction project there as well as their trip to the village schools with the Loreto girls also filled up a large part of their exchanges and indeed proved to be an eye opener to many of them about how life can be led contentedly within very limited means. The communications between the John Scottus and our Rainbow children also helped them substantially to see how adversity can be dealt with, learnt from and turned into success. It also became clear what a long way a little help and cooperation could go in building lives and making them meaningful. The interactions between the children of the two countries were illuminating, educational and above all, fun-the icing on the cake being the time they joined us to sing our national anthem which they had practiced before coming to India. We will miss our Irish friends and eagerly await their next visit.

Posted by Debasish 

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