DUBAI: Launched with a skit that depicted the euphoric reaction of a rural farming family to the first monsoon showers after a long dry spell, the Venalshibiram program focusing on conservation of water was held this Friday by the Orthodox Christian Youth Movement allied to St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, Dubai.
Tailored as a summer activity for kids from 5-15 years of age, the program with a drop of water as its logo aimed to give the children of the Malayali diaspora here an idea of the culture back in Kerala and to convey the importance of water in our daily life through highly interactive poems, songs, skits, classes, projects and arts and crafts.
With a shingari melam and a huge cutout of an elephant reminiscent of our kerala roots, the inaugural procession was led by vicar Fr. Biju.P. Thomas. Assistant vicar Fr. Pathrose Joy, Al Ain vicar Fr. Philip Varghese, parish secretary Marydasan Thomas, joint secretary Bobben Thomas, Malayala Manorama Bureau Chief Vinod John, general convenor Mathews Eapen, Secretary Manoj Thomas all briefly addressed the students.
Through rhythmic folk songs (naadanpattu) ably led by Jyothish and Shobhin, the kids were introduced to the theme and then divided into classes based on their age group.
The classes included fare as varied as sessions on writing letters in sand in traditional kerala manner, crafting a tree with popcorn kernels as the flowers, a talk on the properties of water with fascinating experiments and its spiritual significance in all religions by Helen Biju P Thomas, a session on journalism for senior students by Malayala Manorama bureau chief Vinod John and a class on first aid and CPR by Dr. Swapna Biju.
Parents also attended an interesting lecture by psychiatrist Susan Korith on common psychological issues in children and techniques to overcome communication barriers and to bridge the generation gap.
Venal shibiram is planned as a two day program and the concluding session will be held this Friday on July 23, 2010.
News sent in by Mrs. Manju Mathew