Staff Correspondent

UDUPI: A team of 15 youth from Siang Along district of Arunachal Pradesh are on a five-day visit (from February 3 to February 7) to Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts under the "Inter-State Youth Exchange and Home Stay Programme" organised by the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (Sriperumbudur) and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sanghatan.

District Youth Co-ordinator of Nehru Yuva Kendra, Mangalore, C.J.F. D'Souza told presspersons here on Tuesday that the team members were staying in 15 selected houses in Hejmady village. They were visiting different parts of the two districts to learn about their local cultures, he said.

Last Saturday, the team members witnessed the "Bhoota-Kola" form of worship here. They visited the Attur Church near Karkala, interacted with members of a self-help group in Hejmady, visited the Hejmady beach and saw "Nagaradhane" at Padubidri on Sunday. On Monday, they visited Thokur, participated at an interaction programme at the Hejmady school and had a "Full Moon Dinner" at the Hejmady beach. The team members called on Deputy Commissioner V. Ponnuraj and Chief Executive Officer of the Udupi Zilla Panchayat P. Hemalatha on Tuesday.

They also participated in a cultural exchange programme with the students of the Government Women's First Grade College. On Wednesday, they are scheduled to witness a traditional local marriage ceremony in Hejmady.

Leader of the team Karbom Ori said that she and her friends had learnt a lot about the cultures and traditions of both districts. They had tasted many local delicacies and especially liked the idli with chutney, she said.

Mr. Ponnuraj said that the youth were seeing the sea for the first time. President of the Hejmady Gram Panchayat Sudhakar Kanchan and president of Karavali Yuvaka Yuvathi Vrinda Dinesh Suvarna were present.