Namaskāra! Join Cornell students from the ILR School and the Global Health Program taking part in a global service learning (GSL) program at the NGO Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) in Mysore, Karnataka State, India. The students take courses in culture, labor, gender and public health and also engage in service projects related to their studies. This opportunity is managed by International Programs in the ILR School.
For past years, see archives.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Deepa S. ILR'18, Viveka Tribal Centre for Learning, Hosahalli
Namaskaraa! For the past four weeks, I have been discovering
the magic that takes place at the Viveka Tribal Centre for Learning, in
Hosahalli. This school caters to children, from 1st Standard to 10th
Standard, who come from a tribal background in its philosophy and its practice.
From the open classrooms and flexible curriculums to the prevalence of song and
dance throughout the bamboo and gooseberry trees, the administrators and
teachers at Hosahalli are doing their best to encourage young people to learn.
My purpose at VTCL was to bridge one of the gaps of knowledge between teachers
and students. I was tasked to discover and document the games commonly played
by primary school children so that teachers could use the games to involve and
encourage students in academic subjects. My challenge was to lend my outsider’s
perspective as a non-tribal non-Kannada person to the insider role of a child.
As a 19 year old playing with 6 year olds, I was looking to understand the creativity
and imagination of the children at VTCL. I wanted to become part of their
interactions so that I could learn about the sparks of inspiration that allow
them to think of a seed as a marble, a stone as a destination, or their campus
as a home. While learning about and participating in a different cultural
setting, I also sought to develop learning materials to document the local
games played by the children at Hosahalli.
Deepa with Elise ILR'18, Whitney ILR'18, and VTCL students.
In attempting to complete this project, I first and foremost
found myself making dozens of new friends. Both the students and the teachers
welcomed me into the primary school classrooms, asking me to teach them songs
and games that I grew up with. After sharing my personal favorites, the Hokey
Pokey and Wah, I did my best to learn from my new friends. I got to run around
the campus with the 1st and 3rd standard students,
playing Kannada’s verison of Tag: Ju-ta-ta, and Haalu/Mosaru, or Milk and
Curds, which is a chasing game around two poles. I would watch the boys throw
stones and seeds and sticks playing games like Lagori, or Goli (Marbles) trying
to dissect the rules and understand what excited them. In the classrooms, I
learned their handshakes and dances, all the while thinking about how to make
these elements of their days relevant to the traditional subjects that teachers
teach. I would sit across from them at lunchtime, smiling and waving to the
kids who I played with while speaking to the teachers and my fellow ILRies,
rushing back to the playground so that I could play one more round of Ju-ta-ta
before classes started again. Each student and child greeted me with a smile,
or a handshake, or a shout, “Deepa-akka” (big sister) from across the field.
my time at Hosahalli is over, for now, I will always remember the smiling faces
that called to be “Banni, Banni” (Come, come), inviting me to learn about the
mind of a child at VTCL. For now, it’s back to Cornell, but don’t worry, Hogi