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Graceful moves: A Sri Lankan upcountry dance
Graceful moves: A Sri Lankan upcountry dance

ARUN SINGH

The visit of 80 students from eight South Asian countries helped to build bonds.

In the midst of all the frenzy about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) — the new buzzword in education acronyms, is inserting the letter A for Arts. STEAM could give India, a cultural superpower, even greater global advantage which was verified on the occasion of the student exchange programme conducted by Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Visitors

Eighty students from eight South Asian Countries accompanied by 24 teachers congregated at the Azad Bhawan in New Delhi. The students participated in the Horizon series and witnessed “Baisakhi Parv” by Sukhwinder Singh and an exhibition of paintings by Dipali Roy of Kolkata. vFour girls from Sri Lanka dressed up like Sikhs complete with beards and performed Wadiga Patuna, a low country dance of Sri Lanka. The boys were not to be left behind and in their colourful traditional costumes performed an upcountry dance.

Many students shared their views with the media. “India is very different from Afghanistan. I made many friends here and would like to come back at every opportunity” says Sayed Bidal of Charbagh High School from Lagman in Afghanistan.

“We share the same culture but are ideologically different”, said a student from Pakistan. Another Girl said, “I love India so much that we don't miss our families. There is a lot of development in India but the Food is different. There is a lot of choice of Vegetarian food here like paneer, dosas and pav bhaji which we have been feasting on.”

Motivating the youth was the central theme of igniting minds and ICCR would help young South Asian Students develop creative expressions and learning skills through cultural diplomacy.

The students of Std. IX and X from the South Asian countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal would stay with students from Vasant Valley, Sanskriti School, DPS R K Puram, Ryan International and Amity International. They would visit heritage sites in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.


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