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Venalshibhiram 2010 draws to a jubilant close at St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral

DUBAI: Concluding with a science and crafts exhibit that featured extraordinary replicas onstage of a bullock cart, waterwheel (chakram) and traditional utensils like para and murram, “Venalshibhiram 2010” conducted by the Orthodox Christian Youth Movement allied to St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral, Dubai came to a jubilant end today.

Tailored as a summer activity and learning experience on our traditional heritage for kids from 5-15 years of age, the two day program with a drop of water as its logo conveyed the importance of water in our daily life.

Last Friday, the emphasis was on imparting primary concepts and cultural ABC’s such as traditional folk songs, simple crafts such as making paper flowers and classes on the conservation of water, essential first aid skills and basic journalism skills. This Friday, the focus shifted to putting these lessons into practice through a science exhibition, crafts exhibition, a documentary project and two rival newspaper projects that the students themselves planned and implemented with the assistance of their mentors from the youth movement.

As the adults looked on with astonishment our budding film makers, journalists, designers and cartoonists produced a stunning documentary on water, and two radically different but equally good newspapers of professional quality; the “Venal Express” and “Venal Times”.

Our young scientists presented experiments as varied as a simple water heater made of the lids of tins and wooden blocks and projects demonstrating the recycling of paper, the effects of planting trees on soil erosion and the detrimental effects of fizzy drinks. Eye-catching paintings and craft items using simple techniques were produced in just one day for the arts exhibition.

All students and parents thronged to view the replicas of a nettipattam and the Punalur weighbridge among the crafts exhibits that were dramatically displayed as part of the program. An interesting lecture on managing stress and conflict situations in parenting and tips to overcome the generation gap was held for the parents in the afternoon.

Venalshibhiram 2010 was an absolute feast for the senses that left both students and parents eagerly looking forward to next year’s event.