Fancy dress competitions are all set to become the norm in some city schools.
MANGALOREIn a world full of masks that people wear, the best ones are those worn by children. Come school festivals and annual days children arrive at the talent day function in numerous masquerades and attires. For children it is fun, for parents it is a little bit of extra work and for onlookers it is a memorable event.The 'fancy dress' as it is called in common parlance gives the children not just a chance to showcase their talents but also overcome stage fear. The myriad costumes they wear opens their mind to another world inhabited by mythological characters to the colourful personas of film stars, sports persons and characters from history.
Schools in Mangalore take the concept of fancy dress seriously. Over 200 schools out of the total of 260 participate in the taluk level and district level fancy dress competitions, which are held throughout the year starting from August. Invariably the number tapers down towards the end of the academic year due to examinations. Over the years children in Mangalore have taken a liking to theme-based costumes. The themes included building the nation and key persons like great engineers like M. Vishveshwaraiah, Mirza Ismail while for some other themes include the great Indian Independence movement that shows Gandhiji, Subhas Chandra Bose and revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekar Azad. The great Maratha King like Shivaji and Baji Rao Peshwa, Kittur Rani Chennamma, Hakka Bukka, Onake Obavva and the local Mangalorean folk heroes Koti Chennaiah are few of the favourites. Dramatic depictions of history, which show groups of children enacting a piece of history, are also popular. The Tipu Sultan episode and the Rani Abbakka episodes are very popular among students.In the recent times modern personalities like Bill Gates, Michael Jackson, John Abraham, Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi have also been effectively depicted in various fancy dress competitions in Mangalore and around. Urban students have the access to modern themes while the sub-urban and rural students score in the mythological and historical roles.In one particular fancy dress show held at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan at Mangalore recently, a school boy enacted Jawaharlal Nehru hoisting the national tricolour atop the Red Fort on the day independence was won. The 500 strong audience comprising children, teachers and most importantly the judges spontaneously stood up in respect. That the boy got the first prize was another story.